Koch group launches ads against Warren plan to break up tech giants

A group backed by GOP mega-donor Charles Koch is launching an ad blitz pushing lawmakers to reject Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenButtigieg tweeted support for 'Medicare for All' in 2018 Overnight Health Care — Presented by National Taxpayers Union — House Dems change drug pricing bill to address progressive concerns | Top Republican rejects Dem proposal on surprise medical bills | Vaping group launches Fox News ad blitz Hillicon Valley: FCC approves T-Mobile-Sprint merger | Dems wrangle over breaking up Big Tech at debate | Critics pounce as Facebook's Libra stumbles | Zuckerberg to be interviewed by Fox News | Twitter details rules for political figures' tweets MORE’s (D-Mass.) proposal to break up tech giants.

Americans for Prosperity (AFP), a Koch-funded free market group, is running ads in Washington, D.C., and in the home states of lawmakers on the Senate Judiciary Committee against Warren’s proposal.

“Don’t politicize antitrust laws,” the ads will urge lawmakers. 

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“If we use antitrust law to punish successful competitors, we eliminate incentives for innovation,” Billy Easley, a senior tech policy analyst at AFP, said in a statement Friday.

“Government should not be empowered to pick winners and losers in the marketplace and there is a reason we have regulatory enforcement agencies like the Federal Trade Commission to prevent the politicization of this process," he added. "Our ads are reminding lawmakers on both sides of the aisle that antitrust law exists to protect consumers, not to be used as a political weapon.”

The ads, according to a release on the group’s site, will also include a link to a site where the public can send messages to members of the Judiciary Committee expressing their disapproval of Warren’s plan.

The ads were first reported by Politico.

Earlier this month, Warren, a 2020 presidential contender, unveiled her proposal calling for companies like Facebook, Google and Amazon to be broken up to prevent the firms from competing on the platforms that they host.

The plan would involve legislation that prohibits that conduct and appointing regulators who would go after Silicon Valley giants.

“Oh look—the Koch brothers don’t like my ideas,” Warren said in a tweet on Thursday. “Apparently they're horrified about any effort to try and rein in the economic and political power of giant corporations. I'm shocked.”