Big tech antitrust bill in danger, Chuck Schumer says

Posted:
in General Discussion
The Senate Majority leader doesn't believe that there are enough votes to pass the American Choice and Innovation Act, which is aimed at reining in the power of tech giants.

US Capitol. Credit: Alejandro Barba
US Capitol. Credit: Alejandro Barba


Sen. Chuck Schumer was recently asked the question by a group of donors at a fundraising event on Tuesday evening. Although Schumer called the bill a "high priority," he said the Senate doesn't have the 60 votes needed to pass it, Bloomberg has reported.

Schumer had pledged earlier in the year to bring the legislation to a vote this summer. He also noted that he was working with the lead Democratic sponsor of the bill, Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota.

Although putting the bill to a vote on the floor could pressure undecided lawmakers, Schumer said he doesn't believe that strategy will be effective. He has not previously publicly said that he believes the vote doesn't have a chance in the Senate, however.

The cosponsors of the bill maintain that they have the necessary votes from both Republican and Democratic lawmakers to pass the legislation. However, the window to pass the bill is narrowing as many Congresspeople turn their attention to the November elections.

Earlier in July, Progressive lawmakers urged the Senate to hold a vote on the American Choice and Innovation Act, which would stop tech giants from preferring their own products and services over those of rivals.

Apple and other tech giants threatened by the bill have ramped up lobbying efforts in recent years as antitrust scrutiny has grown. Apple, for its part, is now spending more than it ever has on political lobbying.

Read on AppleInsider
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 22
    rob53rob53 Posts: 3,057member
    Good, I really think there are more important things for Congress to do like reducing the military budget and passing Medicare For All so we can try and have a healthy country. 
    edited July 27 JaiOh812morrowiOS_Guy80Madbumwilliamlondon9secondkox2
  • Reply 2 of 22
    Be sure to contact your members of the senate if you're in the US to urge them to support this bill!
    williamlondon9secondkox2
  • Reply 3 of 22
    rob53rob53 Posts: 3,057member
    Be sure to contact your members of the senate if you're in the US to urge them to support this bill!
    Your opinion but when it comes to Apple products, I choose to purchase their products and don’t feel other company’s products have a right to have an equal or more prominent position on Apple’s products. Grocery stores charge more for better shelf position so why isn’t Congress forcing them to provide equal or random center or eye level prime positioning to everyone for the same price?
    edited July 27 igorsky2morrowMadbummwhiterobin huberJP234williamlondonJSR_FDEDkurai_kageJaiOh81
  • Reply 4 of 22
    igorskyigorsky Posts: 650member
    Be sure to contact your members of the senate if you're in the US to urge them to support this bill!
    No thanks.
    MadbumkelemormwhiteJP234williamlondonJSR_FDEDmuthuk_vanalingamkurai_kageJFC_PA9secondkox2
  • Reply 5 of 22
    JP234JP234 Posts: 484member
    Well, since about 25% of my portfolio is in so-called "Big Tech," I'm 100% opposed to this bill. The idea that Apple or Microsoft have a monopoly on anything is a campaign slogan, not a reality.

    And considering that government interference in the functioning of capital market forces always goes so well, make that 200% opposed.
    jdwMadbumtdknoxJSR_FDED9secondkox2JaiOh81watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 22
    iOS_Guy80iOS_Guy80 Posts: 660member
    👏 glad to see it in jeopardy of passing.
    MadbumtdknoxJP234JSR_FDEDkurai_kageJaiOh81watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 22
    MadbumMadbum Posts: 297member
    Good

    idiotic bill that benefits Chinese controlled companies like Epic
    mwhitetdknoxJP234williamlondonJSR_FDEDkurai_kage9secondkox2JaiOh81watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 22
    MadbumMadbum Posts: 297member
    Be sure to contact your members of the senate if you're in the US to urge them to support this bill!
    Why? It’s a stupid bill bordering on communism hiding behind the anti trust slogan


    Dan the man, stop acting like an Euro? Do you see America trying to kill their companies like BMW!? “ You must use Ford parts in your cars or direct people interested in BMWs to Ford dealerships first”? What kind of shit is that?


    This bill damages great American companies and benefits smaller Chinese controlled companies like Epic

    no thanks 
    edited July 27 mwhitetdknoxJP234JSR_FDEDkurai_kageJFC_PA9secondkox2watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 22
    croffordcrofford Posts: 78member
    Free Market Capitalism works perfectly everywhere except where it comes in contact with government.
    MadbumJP234williamlondonJSR_FDED9secondkox2watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 22
    larryjwlarryjw Posts: 952member
    I did a quick read of the House bill, and in my opinion, is quite the abomination. 

    It's way too broad, lacking any language indicating the exact behaviors which the proponents want to prohibit or allow. 

    This bill seems to have the sole purpose of swamping the judicial system with spurious lawsuits and making judges the sole arbiter of technology.  

    It takes little imagination to come up with an argument to sue the tech companies.

    Taking Apple as an example:

    (a)(1) , (2) would disallow Apple from "advantaging" their own OS and Xcode platform for development. How about not allowing Apple to develop their own hardware, like Apple Silicon (M1, M2). 

    Love (b)(3, (4). Use of non-public data. So, this would require my health data that Apple has collected or my financial data from Apple Pay to be given to other companies? Or my the fingerprint and face data Apple has collected? Or the data collected by my incoming and outgoing phone calls? Maybe Apple needs to share my Contacts and Calendar data? 

    I love (b)(8). interfering or restricting business user's pricing of its good and services. That's right out of Epic's playbook. 

    ********

    (a) Violation.—It shall be unlawful for a person operating a covered platform, in or affecting commerce, to engage in any conduct in connection with the operation of the covered platform that—

    (1) advantages the covered platform operator’s own products, services, or lines of business over those of another business user;

    (2) excludes or disadvantages the products, services, or lines of business of another business user relative to the covered platform operator’s own products, services, or lines of business; or

    (3) discriminates among similarly situated business users.

    (b) Other Discriminatory Conduct.—It shall be unlawful for a person operating a covered platform, in or affecting commerce, to—

    (1) restrict or impede the capacity of a business user to access or interoperate with the same platform, operating system, hardware and software features that are available to the covered platform operator’s own products, services, or lines of business;

    (2) condition access to the covered platform or preferred status or placement on the covered platform on the purchase or use of other products or services offered by the covered platform operator;

    (3) use non-public data obtained from or generated on the platform by the activities of a business user or its customers that is generated through an interaction with the business user’s products or services to offer or support the offering of the covered platform operator’s own products or services;

    (4) restrict or impede a business user from accessing data generated on the platform by the activities of the business user or its customers through an interaction with the business user’s products or services, such as contractual or technical restrictions that prevent the portability of such data by the business user to other systems or applications;

    (5) restrict or impede covered platform users from un-installing software applications that have been preinstalled on the covered platform or changing default settings that direct or steer covered platform users to products or services offered by the covered platform operator;

    (6) restrict or impede businesses users from communicating information or providing hyperlinks on the covered platform to covered platform users to facilitate business transactions;

    (7) in connection with any user interfaces, including search or ranking functionality offered by the covered platform, treat the covered platform operator’s own products, services, or lines of business more favorably than those of another business user;

    (8) interfere or restrict a business user’s pricing of its goods or services;

    (9) restrict or impede a business user, or a business user’s customers or users, from interoperating or connecting to any product or service; and

    (10) retaliate against any business user or covered platform user that raises concerns with any law enforcement authority about actual or potential violations of State or Federal law.

    MadbumtdknoxJP234JSR_FDEDkurai_kage
  • Reply 11 of 22
    robin huberrobin huber Posts: 3,689member
    Anti-trust is fine if there is really a “trust” involved. These huge companies are competing with each other. That is driving innovation. When they start colluding on pricing we can talk. 

    Imagine if Congress had broken up the big railroads because they were “cooperating” on linking up to form a transcontinental line. Would little individual local railroads have driven innovation?

    when technology becomes static is the time to give little guys a leg up, not when it’s accelerating. 
    edited July 27 tdknoxwilliamlondonJSR_FDEDkurai_kage
  • Reply 12 of 22
    MadbumMadbum Posts: 297member
    Anti-trust is fine if there is really a “trust” involved. These huge companies are competing with each other. That is driving innovation. When they start colluding on pricing we can talk. 

    Imagine if Congress had broken up the big railroads because they were “cooperating” on linking up to form a transcontinental line. Would little individual local railroads have driven innovation?

    when technology becomes static is the time to give little guys a leg up, not when it’s accelerating. 
    Exactly, this legislation is all about giving little guys different set of rules . Taking away Apples rights while letting companies like Epic use Apple services while profiting from their own app stores doing exact
    same thing they accuse Apple of!


    JP234JSR_FDEDJFC_PAJaiOh81
  • Reply 13 of 22
    omasouomasou Posts: 388member
    rob53 said:
    Good, I really think there are more important things for Congress to do like reducing the military budget and passing Medicare For All so we can try and have a healthy country. 
    LOL. I agree that are more important topics...though for the two you presented...Do you seriously ever see them happening?
    edited July 27 JP234
  • Reply 14 of 22
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 2,381member
    crofford said:
    Free Market Capitalism works perfectly everywhere except where it comes in contact with government.
    Actually pure unmanaged free market capitalism doesn’t work. It drifts toward becoming abusive to its customers and workers. It has a tendency toward monopoly. That’s why there has to be oversight. Has big tech reached this point? I don’t know if it has. Is this legislation a good idea? I’m not convinced on that either. But pure unfettered capitalism is a really bad idea. 
    tdknoxwilliamlondonmuthuk_vanalingam9secondkox2JaiOh81zoetmb
  • Reply 15 of 22
    tundraboytundraboy Posts: 1,844member
    I have no problem with antitrust regulation, in fact I am all for it.  Anyone who's taken introductory Econ in college should know that unregulated free markets will, as DAalseth said, drift towards monopoly.

    The problem I have with this proposed law is that the legislators sponsoring it have poor or no understanding at all of the industry and technology they want to regulate.  The old antitrust paradigms just don't apply in a market where network effects have both positive and negative aspects.  In my view they are particularly oblivious of the security risks involved in forcing platforms to open up to other app stores and even worse, side loading of apps.

    I have corresponded with one of the sponsoring senators about my concern for the security of all the private information I keep in my phone and their response is that they have consulted tech experts who assured them that the security risk is minimal.  Well, have they consulted tech experts who hold the opposite view?  Why are they listening only to 'expert' opinions that they agree with? This is cover-your-ass not true fact finding.  Furthermore, have they asked smartphone users like me who are willing to pay more for maximum security and whose choice they want to remove from the market?
    edited July 27 JSR_FDED
  • Reply 16 of 22
    tundraboytundraboy Posts: 1,844member
    crofford said:
    Free Market Capitalism works perfectly everywhere except where it comes in contact with government.
    This is an ignorant statement.  If you allow markets to operate unregulated, competing companies will just band together, act as a monopolist and raise prices.  Not only that, they will stifle innovation just like how Microsoft in its heyday killed any innovation that threatened the DOS-Windows stranglehold.  That includes OS-2 which tech experts agree was superior to Windows.  It can be validly argued that Microsoft held back personal computer innovation for about 20 years.
    DAalsethomasouwilliamlondonkurai_kage9secondkox2
  • Reply 17 of 22
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 2,381member
    tundraboy said:
    crofford said:
    Free Market Capitalism works perfectly everywhere except where it comes in contact with government.
    This is an ignorant statement.  If you allow markets to operate unregulated, competing companies will just band together, act as a monopolist and raise prices.  Not only that, they will stifle innovation just like how Microsoft in its heyday killed any innovation that threatened the DOS-Windows stranglehold.  That includes OS-2 which tech experts agree was superior to Windows.  It can be validly argued that Microsoft held back personal computer innovation for about 20 years.
    I would agree with that. Computing would be much healthier if Windows, Mac, OS/2, and Linux had the market divided roughly equally. If MS Office weren’t the standard that all other Apps must match. MS was almost broken up ~2002, but the DOJ lost it’s nerve.

    But then the mobile market would be healthier if there were more players than Android and iOS too.
    edited July 27
  • Reply 18 of 22
    The problem that I have with a lot of the U.S./EU regulatory efforts is that they completely ignore how the current smartphone market actually developed.

    Apple was not considered to be an 800 pound gorilla when they entered the market in 2007. For the most part, they were considered to be a "boutique" company that was successful in appealing to a relatively small percentage of the computer market. Most pundits projected that type of future for the iPhone: successful but not widely used. Most pundits focused on the high price and lack of physical keyboard as competitive disadvantages and didn't treat the "app" part of the equation as anything very significant. 

    And the reality per Android is that Google saw Apple's "walled garden" approach as a competitive disadvantage. All the different things that Android allowed users to do that iOS didn't was hyped to the moon by both Android advertising and a large percentage of tech pundits. If anything, the prevailing wisdom in the tech world back in 2009 was that Android's Windows-like approach would ensure the iPhone's "boutique" status...just like Windows did with Macs. Apple was going to fall victim to the same dynamic in the smartphone market too.

    And look at the actual technological development of the iPhone/iOS from 2007 to 2022. The level of change and improvement to the hardware, OS and app experience for iPhone customers is undeniably significant. It is not at all what you would be expecting from a company that could control the market through either anticompetitive means or from lack of competition. If anything, Apple has been a hyper-competitive company since the launch of the iPhone. 
    JSR_FDEDkurai_kage9secondkox2
  • Reply 19 of 22
    larryjwlarryjw Posts: 952member
    DAalseth said:
    tundraboy said:
    crofford said:
    Free Market Capitalism works perfectly everywhere except where it comes in contact with government.
    This is an ignorant statement.  If you allow markets to operate unregulated, competing companies will just band together, act as a monopolist and raise prices.  Not only that, they will stifle innovation just like how Microsoft in its heyday killed any innovation that threatened the DOS-Windows stranglehold.  That includes OS-2 which tech experts agree was superior to Windows.  It can be validly argued that Microsoft held back personal computer innovation for about 20 years.
    I would agree with that. Computing would be much healthier if Windows, Mac, OS/2, and Linux had the market divided roughly equally. If MS Office weren’t the standard that all other Apps must match. MS was almost broken up ~2002, but the DOJ lost it’s nerve.

    But then the mobile market would be healthier if there were more players than Android and iOS too.
    More competition means healthier?  IOS and Android based systems are ubiquitous platforms and seem healthy enough to support quite a rich set of platforms for application development. Certainly, Windows, Linux, Minix 3, Tenzin based systems could be developed but these and other iOS and Android competitors have failed -- for legitimate reasons it seems to me. 

    Having more choices doesn't mean, at least to me, that more players means healthier. If another competitor comes from out of the wood-work, it means it's healthier because they are providing something the others are not. So, far, what Apple and Android based systems are giving us defines the healthy mobile space. 

    It takes more knowledge and imagination than I have to see what's missing in this space, but merely hobbling these platforms with anti-trust legislation will not result in better solutions or more real or healthier choices no more than more choices of soda pop, or cereal leads to a healthier diet. 
  • Reply 20 of 22
    9secondkox29secondkox2 Posts: 1,463member
    Good thing. Now maybe our supposed public servants can get to some real problems and start increasing military and law enforcement budgets, securing our borders from cartel manipulation, making it easier for American companies to innovate without political alignment shooting them down, and creating avenues to a resurgence in American product economy so that we aren’t so reliant on others who seem fit to threaten us when we stand up for the little guy. 


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