This week, the Supreme Court blocked a Texas law that “[requires] social media sites to post all content that expresses a ‘viewpoint.’” The SCOTUS decision may heighten conservatives concerns about the continued ability of Big Tech companies to silence and limit conservative speech online.
But these concerns should not encourage Republicans to pass Senator Amy Klobuchar’s (D-Minn.) radical antitrust legislation, the American Innovation and Choice Online Act. The bill does nothing to stop or even limit conservative censorship and will likely exacerbate government and Silicon Valley abuse of conservatives.
The American Innovation and Choice Online Act fundamentally changes antitrust law in a way that harms business, innovation and consumers. The bill bans companies with a market capitalization of over $550 billion and 50 million monthly users from promoting their own “products, services, or lines of business” next to those of a competing business in a way that would “materially harm competition.” In other words, certain companies would be unable to promote its own cheaper name-brand alternatives for any products against more expensive competitors just because of their size and online presence. Banning this practice would be akin to banning Costco from selling Kirkland paper towels next to Bounty paper towels. Amazon would also be banned from offering free two-day Prime shipping or selling AmazonBasics products that are often cheaper than the name brands. During a time of high inflation rates where Americans are paying more for gas, food and other basic needs, the last thing that Congress should be pushing is legislation that makes it tougher for companies to offer cheaper products to consumers.
This legislation also makes zero mention of anything related to conservative censorship. Despite efforts by Republicans to include provisions in the bill that prevent the ability of Big Tech companies to silence conservatives on their platforms, Democrats have refused to even compromise slightly in including provisions that address these issues. This should come as no surprise. The censorship practices of social media companies do not concern liberals that want to promote their agenda without any pushback. The fact that the liberals, who want to see conservative voices suppressed on social media, support AICOA should be enough information to suggest that the bill does not sufficiently address the conservative concerns with Big Tech. Republicans ought not be tricked into passing a left-wing antitrust bill simply because Big Tech companies will be harmed. The bill does nothing to stop conservative censorship and will lead to more abuse of conservatives by government and woke Silicon Valley censors.