Organizations push congressional leaders to prioritize tech antitrust report

A wide-ranging group of national organizations is urging congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle to embrace and prioritize recommendations to overhaul big tech companies as laid out in a House Judiciary Committee report last month. 

Fifty groups signed onto a letter sent to top House and Senate leaders on Tuesday calling for them to “quickly act to enshrine the recommendations included in the report into law,” according to a copy shared with The Hill. 

“This report should serve as a wake-up call to other industries that Congress can and will hold them, and agencies responsible for overseeing them, accountable. Congress must act on its duty to protect small business, workers, our democracy, and our economy from a few giant companies rigging the rules for themselves,” the groups wrote. 


“We encourage you to place the recommendations in this report on your respective legislative agendas early in the next session. Your support of these needed changes will protect consumers, workers, and our democracy from Big Tech monopolies, which are not above the law and must no longer be permitted to act as if they are,” they added. 

The letter was sent to Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiBickering Democrats return with divisions This week: Clock ticks on coronavirus, government funding deals Princeton history professor says Biden won with unstable Democratic coalition MORE (D-Calif.), House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyThis week: Clock ticks on coronavirus, government funding deals Lincoln Project resurfaces Kellyanne Conway tweet calling 306 electoral votes ‘historic’ The Hill’s Morning Report – Biden wins Arizona, confers with Dem leaders; Trump tweets MORE (R-Calif.), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenators clash on the floor over wearing masks: ‘I don’t need your instruction’ On The Money: Biden urges Congress to pass Democrats’ COVID-19 relief package | Fears of double-dip recession rise | SEC’s Clayton to resign at end of 2020 Overnight Defense: Pentagon prepping for Trump order to draw down in Afghanistan, Iraq | Questions swirl after DOD purge | 10th service member killed by COVID-19 MORE (R-Ky.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck SchumerChuck SchumerBiden could lose Georgia Senate races all by himself Puerto Rico’s statehood piques Congress’s interest post-election Feds charge Staten Island man over threat to Schumer, FBI MORE (D-N.Y.). 

It comes roughly a month after the House Judiciary panel on antitrust released a report on competition in digital marketplaces that included a series of recommendations targeting tech companies. 

The investigation that launched last June was a bipartisan effort, but Republican committee members pushed back on the majority’s report. Instead, shortly after it was released, Rep. Ken BuckKenneth (Ken) Robert BuckOrganizations push congressional leaders to prioritize tech antitrust report The rhetoric of techlash: A source of clarity or confusion? Hillicon Valley: Congressional antitrust report rips tech firms | Facebook tightens ban on QAnon content | Social media groups urged to weed out disinformation targeting minority voters MORE (R-Colo.) released his own version backed by other Republicans.

Buck’s “third way” report largely agrees with the majority staff’s views on the effects of big tech’s market dominance, but it pushes for comparatively smaller reforms. 


Stacy Mitchell, co-director of the Institute for Local Self Reliance, a nonprofit advocacy group that signed onto the letter, said that while there are differences between the two reports, the similarities in their view on big tech’s market dominance suggests there’s a chance for the reform to be a “breakthrough issue” amid the deeply divided partisan politics. 

Mitchell underscored the need for lawmakers to prioritize the reform given the increased economic issues facing small businesses and workers due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

“We’re seeing working people and small businesses absolutely decimated and if we want to actually have real recovery that’s robust, recovery that’s equitable, then we need to tackle … monopoly power more broadly,” Mitchell said. 

The letter is signed by a wide range of business groups, as well as economic justice and worker rights organizations, Mitchell noted. Groups that signed the letter include the Athena Coalition, Center for Popular Democracy, Demand Progress and the Warehouse Worker Resource Center.

“That’s an interesting coalition,” Mitchell said. “And I think it really speaks to the fact that monopoly power is something that is robbing a lot of Americans of their ability to earn a living — whether they work for a living or run a business.”

–Updated at 8:55 a.m.