Technology

Klobuchar: Big Tech antitrust legislation isn’t dead

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) speaks at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on domestic terrorism.
Jacquelyn Martin/The Associated Press
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) speaks at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on domestic terrorism.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) said the push to pass her antitrust legislation targeting the largest tech companies isn’t dead, despite the bill still waiting for a scheduled floor vote. 

Klobuchar made her latest endorsement for the future of her American Innovation and Online Choice Act in an interview with Vox’s Kara Swisher at the Code Conference on Tuesday.

The bill, co-sponsored by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), aims to limit tech companies from preferencing their own products and services over rivals’. It advanced out of the Judiciary Committee with bipartisan support earlier this year, but has yet to be called for a floor vote. 

Klobuchar, who chairs the antitrust subcommittee, did not give an exact date or guarantee the vote will happen before the midterms. 

“It is really hard to take on these subjects when you have the biggest companies the world has ever known, that control an inordinate part of the economy, opposed to it,” she said in the interview. “It is an incredible amount of money I’m up against. I have two lawyers. They have 2,800 lawyers and lobbyists. So I’m not naive about the David versus Goliath.”

She also told Swisher the upcoming midterm elections may not be a hard deadline for the legislation to pass, even if Republicans gain control of the House and Senate, since the bill has bipartisan support in both chambers. 

A version of the bill advanced out of the House Judiciary committee last year along with a slate of other antitrust bills targeting the tech giants. 

In August a spokesperson for Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said he plans to call the bill to a floor vote but did not provide a timeline.

Schumer’s statement came roughly a week after Bloomberg reported that the senator told donors he doesn’t think the bill has the votes to pass. 

Supporters of the proposal in the Senate and House have dismissed criticism that the bills do not have the votes to pass and have been pushing strongly for votes in both chambers.

Tags American Innovation and Online Choice Act Amy Klobuchar Amy Klobuchar antitrust legislation Charles Schumer Chuck Grassley Chuck Grassley
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