Politics Former national security officials warn antitrust bills could help China in tech race
Antitrust isn't headed to an inflection point; it's already there
Now is the time for businesses to prepare themselves for the new legal landscape.It means antitrust is at an important inflection point. Changes are occurring at multiple levels - from rule reform to new applications of existing rules to increased enforcement. Some of these changes are a reflection of the economic upheaval ushered in by the digital economy, which has prompted businesses and governments to look to antitrust rules to solve their problems.
A group of former top national security officials on Wednesday issued a call for Congress to conduct additional reviews on a series of antitrust bills targeting tech giants, which they argued would harm U.S. companies and give China the upper hand in the tech race.
sent to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and , the ex-officials said that "more deliberate analysis is needed" for the antitrust bills in June "to examine the detrimental impact these bills could have on our strategic competition with China."
Biden's antitrust demagoguery will drive inflation, not cure it
Targeting Big Ag and Big Oil for antitrust action to drive down consumer prices is a political diversionary tactic.Politically speaking, it is a neat fix. It drives one of the central policies of the Biden administration - to shift antitrust enforcement from the consumer welfare standard of the past 45 years back to an earlier era's more nebulous standard against "bigness." And it deflects blame for inflation.
"Congress should not proceed with current legislative proposals before understanding the full range of potential consequences," added the group, which included former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and former Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats.
The officials specifically took issue with "provisions in these bills that target a narrow group of U.S. companies without requiring similar oversight of Chinese tech giants such as Huawei, Tencent, Baidu, and Alibaba," which they asserted "would place these already formidable competitors in a better position to assume global preeminence."
"For this reason, we believe Congress should establish a congressional study that works collaboratively with the Administration and other stakeholders on both protecting American innovation and developing a comprehensive strategy to counter the growing challenge posed by China and its authoritarian approach to digital governance," the former officials added.
Hillicon Valley —Apple is not a monopoly, judge rules
Apple is not a monopoly, judge rulesToday is Friday. Welcome to Hillicon Valley, detailing all you need to know about tech and cyber news from Capitol Hill to Silicon Valley. Subscribe here: thehill.com/newsletter-signup.Apple came out on top in a federal judge's ruling in the high-profile antitrust case between the tech giant and the Fortnite developer Epic Games. But there may be looming challenges ahead for Apple, with top lawmakers on both sides of the aisle saying the ruling reaffirmed the need for further regulation of app stores.
The group said that looking into the bills more extensively would "allow the U.S. to develop a long-term plan to strategically compete against the rising power of Beijing."
"The current effort to regulate the U.S.'s largest technology companies should not be done at the expense of U.S. economic and national security," they argued.
The other signatories to the letter included John Negroponte, former deputy director of State and former Director of National Intelligence, as well as Richard Ledgett, former deputy director of the National Security Agency.
While the group of antitrust bills advanced earlier this year received bipartisan support, they also drew criticism from Democrats and Republicans, including some who raised questions on whether Microsoft would be included within the scope of a bill, known as the Access Act, which would implement interoperability and data portability requirements.
The measures have also received pushback from tech companies, which have expressed concerns that the bills would make it easier for enforcement agencies to break up American tech giants.
The Hill has reached out to the offices of Pelosi and McCarthy for comment.
Big Tech cozying up to China and Russia undermines argument against breaking them up .
Big Tech companies are complying with the requests of foreign adversaries such as China and Russia, which significantly undercuts their argument that breaking them up is a national security risk, according to both sides of Congress. © Provided by Washington Examiner In the most recent instance of tech giants complying with authoritarian governments to conduct business, Google and Apple last week removed a voting app created by allies of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, thanks to pressure from the Russian government.