September 22, 2020
Republican members of the Senate Commerce Committee recently introduced the SAFE DATA Act. While the bill includes much needed federal preemption of state privacy laws, it also creates regulations that would threaten innovation and ultimately harm consumers more than it helps them.
September 14, 2020
The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold an antitrust hearing on September 15 to examine Google’s 90 percent market share in online advertising. Senators who would normally support competition should remember that antitrust regulation is government regulation that replaces the judgment of the marketplace with the whims of government officials and courts.
September 9, 2020
The Senate is about to consider federally regulating transportation network companies for the first time. But proof of market failure should always be a prerequisite for imposing new regulationsThis bar is not met for the regulations proposed by Sami’s Law. Born out of a tragedy and good intentions, the law seeks to make mandatory what’s already happening in the marketplace.
September 3, 2020
Among other depressing developments, 2020 saw the introduction of the Integrity, Notification, and Fairness in Online Retail Marketplaces for Consumers Act (INFORM) in both houses of Congress. The bill seeks to thwart sales of counterfeit and stolen items online by third parties, but platforms are already working to solve those problems for consumers. Regulations would likely do more harm than good.
July 29, 2020
Large, innovative tech companies have been invaluable during the COVID-19 crisis, helping to ease the burden of millions of Americans and businesses under quarantine. But that won’t stop the House Antitrust Subcommittee from dragging the CEOs of Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Google before it today. The investigation will have a difficult time meeting the U.S. standard for antitrust: consumer harm.
July 23, 2020
Monday’s upcoming House Antitrust Subcommittee hearing featuring CEOs from Facebook, Amazon, Google, and Apple may turn out to have very little to do with antitrust. Don’t be surprised if members of the Committee focus more on those emotionally charged issues than on antirust criteria.
June 22, 2020
The European Union announced last week that it is pursuing two antitrust probes against the tech giant. EU authorities are investigating whether Apple violated European competition laws through its App Store or Apple Pay. Those cases will likely require some fancy footwork from European antitrust enforcers, but winning a case against Apple stateside would be an even bigger lift.
June 11, 2020
This week, four U.S. Senators asked the FCC to “take a fresh look at Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act .” Real changes to Section 230 will require congressional action. You know, like the kind of thing U.S. Senators are elected to do. But the Senators know there’s little chance of legislation on this front.
May 28, 2020
Today’s Executive Order on Section 230 liability protections for online platforms violates the First Amendment and property rights of social media companies, contradicts the most relevant case law, and ignores the actual language of Section 230 of the Communications Decency act.
May 26, 2020
Last week, The Wall Street Journal reported that the Trump administration is considering forming a panel to investigate charges of discrimination against right-leaning users and content by social media platforms. Yet, there isn’t much proof of systemic bias against the right beyond the anecdotal.