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GOP Faction Wields Antitrust Threats, Echoing Trump’s Populism

Carl Szabo, vice president and general counsel at NetChoice, an advocacy group that opposes government regulation of the internet, called Hawley’s tech bill an attempt to “weaponize antitrust for political purposes.” Szabo, whose group represents companies including Amazon and Alphabet Inc.’s Google, said it’s “bizarre” to see a conservative lawmaker proposing a plan to give the executive branch more antitrust power, a policy goal of Democrats.

“What I worry about is Republican lawmakers lured by the siren song of attacking American tech” will open the floodgates to progressive policies, he said, expressing concerns that Democrats need only a small faction of the GOP to get the 60 votes needed to pass their measures.

Hawley, Cruz and Lee are also among the Republicans taking aim at the cherished liability immunity that allows large tech platforms — Facebook Inc., Twitter Inc. and Google — to decide which content to allow without fear of lawsuits.