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Technology Trade Group Coalition Oppose Democrats’ Big Tech Legislation, Argues It Puts Free Services At Risk

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  • A coalition of technology trade groups came out strongly against Democrats’ pending Big Tech bills, arguing the legislation would harm consumers’ options.
  • “At a time when voters are looking to Congress to address the country’s most pressing challenges, it seems hard to believe that Congress is instead on the verge of banning Amazon Prime and Amazon Basics; banning the preinstallation of iMessage and FaceTime on iPhones; and banning Google from including Google Maps in its search results,” the groups wrote in a letter to the House Judiciary Committee.
  • Democratic Rep. Pramila Jayapal’s bill would force Google to divest from Google Maps and YouTube, Facebook to divest from WhatsApp and Instagram, Microsoft to divest from LinkedIn, and Apple to divest from iMessage and FaceTime, the letter said.

A coalition of technology trade groups came out strongly against Democrats’ pending Big Tech bills, arguing the legislation would harm consumers’ options.

The coalition of 13 groups including Americans for Prosperity, the Chamber of Progress and the Taxpayers Protection Alliance wrote a letter to the House Judiciary Committee arguing that two of Democrats’ five Big Tech bills would severely degrade popular services enjoyed by consumers. The bills, proposed by Democratic Reps. David Cicilline and Pramila Jayapal respectively, ultimately do not achieve the goal of promoting competition online, the letter said.

“At a time when voters are looking to Congress to address the country’s most pressing challenges, it seems hard to believe that Congress is instead on the verge of banning Amazon Prime and Amazon Basics; banning the preinstallation of iMessage and FaceTime on iPhones; and banning Google from including Google Maps in its search results,” the groups wrote in the letter.

“Both Rep. Cicilline’s ‘American Innovation and Choice Online Act’ and Rep. Jayapal’s ‘Ending Platform Monopolies Act’ would prevent Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft from offering integrated tech conveniences to consumers,” the letter continued. (RELATED: Microsoft Censors Conservatives, Should Be Subject To Antitrust Laws, Jim Jordan Says)

Cicilline’s bill would prevent YouTube videos from showing up in Google search results, prohibit Alexa from being used to make Amazon purchases, ban Apple from preinstalling its iCloud service on its software and ban Instagram stories from Facebook, according to the coalition.

Jayapal’s bill, meanwhile, would force Google to divest from Google Maps and YouTube, Facebook to divest from WhatsApp and Instagram, Microsoft to divest from LinkedIn, and Apple to divest from iMessage and FaceTime, the letter continued. This could potentially lead to users needing to pay for those services to continue using them.

Rep. David Cicilline unveils antitrust legislation during a news conference on June 16. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Rep. David Cicilline unveils antitrust legislation during a news conference on June 16. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

“We believe that voters want Congress to fix things that are broken — not break or ban things that they feel are working well,” the groups wrote. “We strongly encourage you to reject these proposals.”

Judiciary Committee Democrats unveiled their five antitrust bills earlier this month. The legislation, which has bipartisan support, could reportedly lead to prosecutors breaking up Big Tech companies.

“Right now, unregulated tech monopolies have too much power over our economy,” Cicilline said in a statement on June 11.

“Our agenda will level the playing field and ensure the wealthiest, most powerful tech monopolies play by the same rules as the rest of us,” he continued.

But Google criticized the legislation, confirming it would degrade their products in a statement to Axios on Tuesday. The bills would negatively impact “hundreds of millions of Americans,” Google Vice President of Government Affairs and Public Policy Mark Isakowitz said.

The Judiciary Committee released a report in October highlighting the findings of its investigation into Big Tech antitrust issues. The report concluded that Amazon, Google, Facebook and Apple should be broken up.

Americans for Prosperity, Chamber of Progress, Computer and Communications Industry Association, Competitive Enterprise Institute, Connected Commerce Council, Consumer Technology Association, Developers Alliance, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, NetChoice, R Street Institute, Taxpayers Protection Alliance, TechFreedom and TechNet signed the letter.

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