Sen. Cotton: My Bill Will Crack Down on Big Tech Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., speaks during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in the Hart Senate Office Building on Sept. 29, 2021, in Washington, D.C. (Tom Williams-Pool/Getty Images)
By Jeffrey Rodack | Tuesday, 16 November 2021 10:30 AM
Sen. Tom Cotton says it's time to revive competition and sharply limit further consolidations by Big Tech.
The Arkansas Republican made his comments in a column for Fox News on Tuesday.
"Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Apple are monopolistic technology corporations that dominate a greater market share in their fields than any similar firms in American history," he said.
"While size alone isn’t a problem, these firms have used their extraordinary wealth and power to buy up rivals, stifle competition and muzzle speech that they oppose. This harms Americans, and that’s why I have joined with Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., to introduce the Competition and Opportunity Act, which would stop the further consolidation of these tech giants.
"Google controls more than 90% of the search market, Amazon controls 80% of the e-book market and a huge share of cloud services, Facebook controls a majority of social media, and Apple – along with Google – share total control of the App Store market."
He maintained that these companies have acquired an "extraordinary level of power, in part, by consuming and combining with their major competitors."
Cotton noted that YouTube was purchased by Google and Instagram and WhatsApp were acquired by Facebook, while Intel’s smartphone business was bought by Apple.
"These tech giants have abused their power, are harming consumers and in some cases illegitimately cutting off access to suppliers," he said. "Amazon is disappearing books and documentaries it finds distasteful, Facebook is censoring social media content it dislikes, and Google is obscuring search results it finds objectionable. In almost all cases this translates into left-wing Silicon Valley extremists censoring conservative Americans."
Cotton said the Competition and Opportunity Act would require Facebook, Google, Amazon, and Apple to prove future acquisitions would not contribute to or sustain their market shares.
"This bill is specifically targeted to address the unique threat posed by these specific monopolies," he said. "It will not restrict acquisitions by any other firms and will not become a burdensome regulation for the industry.
He maintained that technology companies are not "evil or malicious"
But he added, "When any set of corporations reach this level of power and engage in such pervasive anti-competitive behavior, it poses a threat to the free market system."