Politico Morning Tech - Fat Fine for Facebook

Politico Morning Tech – Fat Fine for Facebook

Facebook has stayed mum on the potential settlement, limiting its comments on the matter to the multibillion-dollar estimate, disclosed in the company’s latest quarterly earnings report. But e-commerce trade group NetChoice, of which Facebook is a member, said it views a historically large fine as more than sufficient and warned the FTC against taking Facebook to court for more. “A multi-billion dollar settlement is vastly greater than the UK’s $600,000 privacy fine and demonstrates the FTC is a serious enforcer of privacy laws,” said NetChoice general counsel Carl Szabo. “This is not a slam dunk case for the FTC. The FTC knows that if they overplay their hand they will lose in court.”

NetChoice Criticizes Attacks on Successful American Businesses

Today, NetChoice was concerned by suggestions made by Sen. Cory Booker during a campaign event in Washington that suggested he could weaponize antitrust law against American tech companies.

“We are not seeing a call for antitrust enforcement but rather an attack on successful businesses,” said Carl Szabo, Vice President and General Counsel at NetChoice. “Breaking-up America’s most successful innovators will leave a vacuum only to be filled by foreign enterprises.”

“Antitrust should not be exploited for political purposes – to do so undermines the American public’s trust in fair and honest enforcement of laws,” continued Szabo.

The reaction to Sen. Warren’s antitrust proposal shows that Americans want fair rather than political enforcement of antitrust laws.”

Multiple Sources – Media Reaction to Warren’s Medium Piece “Here’s How We Can Break Up Big Tech”

“Sen. Warren is wrong in her assertion that tech companies lack competition,” said Carl Szabo, vice president of the trade group NetChoice that lists both Facebook and Google as members. “Never before have consumers had access to more goods, services, and opportunities online.”

Reported in:

 

44 smaller outlets also quoted NetChoice.

NetChoice Response to Sen. Warren’s Medium Post “Here’s how we can break up Big Tech”

NetChoice Response to Sen. Warren’s Medium Post “Here’s how we can break up Big Tech”

Consumers and Small Businesses would lose from Sen. Warren’s proposal to break-up Amazon, Facebook, and Google

Senator Warren’s new draconian attack on tech threatens to throttle innovation, kneecap user experience, increase prices for goods, and threaten America’s leadership in tech.

It seems that in Sen. Warren’s eyes, all large businesses are bad businesses — but the middle class whom she tries to fight for greatly benefit from the very businesses she wants to rip apart — such as Google and Facebook.

Read more here

NetChoice Challenges Warren’s Hipster Antitrust Assertions

Today, NetChoice challenged US Senator Warren’s new Medium post supporting the breaking-up of successful American tech businesses like Amazon, Facebook, and Google.

“Sen. Warren is wrong in her assertion that tech markets lack competition. Never before have consumers and workers had more access to goods, services, and opportunities online,” said Carl Szabo, Vice President and General Counsel for NetChoice.

“Breaking up tech companies would hurt – not help – America’s middle class,” continued Szabo.

“Sen. Warren’s proposal would increase prices for consumers, make search and maps less useful, and raise costs to small businesses that advertise online. This proposal is bad for all Americans.”

Startups have never been more prevalent.  The Kauffman Index of Growth Entrepreneurship shows that entrepreneurship is at its highest levels since 2008. Main street growth and startup activity are likewise up.  The US Bureau of Labor Statistics found self-employment is up since 2014 and is projected to grow at 7.9% — faster than the projected rate for all workers.

NetChoice challenges Klobuchar’s Attempts to Politicize Antitrust

Today, NetChoice challenged US Senator Klobuchar’s comments on weaponizing antitrust during today’s Senate Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy, and Consumer Rights – “Does America Have a Monopoly Problem?: Examining Concentration and Competition in the US Economy

“It’s concerning to hear a US Senator weaponizing antitrust for campaign slogans while in the same breath berating the President over his approach to antitrust,” said Carl Szabo, NetChoice Vice President and General Counsel.

“Contrary to the claims of some presidential candidates, consumers have never had more choice when it comes to online services.”

NetChoice Raises Concerns with Calls to Tear Apart Previously Approved Mergers

Today, NetChoice raised concerns about House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee suggestions of re-reviewing merger approvals.

“Tearing apart previously approved mergers threatens America’s startups and empowers America’s competitors.” said Carl Szabo, Vice President and General Counsel for NetChoice.  

“We must not take a rear-view mirror approach to merger reviews.” continued Szabo.  It’s surprising to hear Rep. Cicilline saying the Obama FTC failed to do an adequate review of mergers.”  

For more information read NetChoice’s oped: An antitrust Game of Thrones – The fantasy fight against Google and Facebook

St. Louis Post-Dispatch - Hawley says he'd welcome joining with Ocasio-Cortez in challenging big social media companies

St. Louis Post-Dispatch – Hawley says he’d welcome joining with Ocasio-Cortez in challenging big social media companies

also reported in Nouvelles Du Monde and Tech2.

Hawley and Ocasio-Cortez are facing resistance from online industry players, including NetChoice, the trade association representing e-commerce companies.

“Sensible legislators need to avoid the allure of weaponizing antitrust for political aims,” said Carl Szabo, NetChoice’s vice president and general counsel. “Politicizing antitrust exchanges good policy for partisan politics and creates a disastrous precedent.”

He added: “Hipster antitrust threatens small businesses that rely on large platforms to find new customers. If Sen. Hawley and Rep. Ocasio-Cortez want to support small business back home, they should applaud platforms — not attack them.”

Small Business Advocate Radio - Short-Term Rentals, Antitrust, and Facial Recognition

 

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NetChoice Concerned By Push for Government Intervention in Barr Confirmation Hearing

Washington, D.C. – Today, NetChoice raised concerns with some Senators’ politically motivated demands to punish the tech industry during the Senate Judiciary Committee’s confirmation hearing of William Barr.

 

“Weaponizing antitrust in order to attack online platforms sets a dangerous precedent,” said Carl Szabo, Vice President and General Counsel at NetChoice. “Conservatives should turn to market-based solutions to solve perceived problems, not seek more intervention from big government.”

 

“Anyone who’s seen the movie “Vice” knows conservatives like Vice President Dick Cheney fought against the so-called fairness doctrine for broadcast TV.  Only after eliminating “equal time” mandates did we see the rise of conservative voices like Fox News and Rush Limbaugh,” continued Szabo.

 

“An internet unhindered by heavy-handed government regulation continues to help conservative voices be heard online. Had the proposals we heard in today’s confirmation hearing been implemented 10 years ago, modern conservative voices like Ben Shapiro and Candace Owens would likely be no more than whispers.”