In the latest of a string of condemnations of the radical Klobuchar antitrust bill, the American Innovation and Choice Online Act (S. 2992), the Wall Street Journal Editorial Board published an opinion piece this week denouncing the legislation.
The WSJ Editorial Board characterized the impact of the legislation as unpredictable at best due to the vague language at work. According to the board, this language makes it, “hard to predict how regulators would apply the bill’s conduct prohibitions and mandates.” The unpredictable regulatory effects of the legislation will naturally give rise to unpredictable economic effects. The board points out that the economic effects had in China caused their government to back off their own antitrust push. The board astutely recognizes the irony that the American Innovation and Choice Online Act would spark a degree of increased economic uncertainty that is likely to lead to a decrease in innovation.
This criticism of the American Innovation and Choice Online Act does not arise out of any sympathy that the WSJ Editorial Board has for Big Tech. Quite the contrary, the board has historically criticized many of their problematic practices. In fact, they continue to do so in this piece, where they criticize the censorship of conservatives on social media. However, they highlight Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter as a “market solution” for the problem that should be considered a preferable solution to this legislation, which can disrupt all layers of the economy in ways that will do nothing to provide relief to the actual issues with social media.
Instead of preventing continued censorship of conservatives, the bill will prevent the exact economic innovation and growth that conservative policies are designed to promote. Republicans need to avoid passing this piece of legislation which will hurt Big Tech companies in all of the wrong ways.