#4 on the iAWFUL is probably the quirkiest one on the list. HR 5190 is a federal bill that would exempt big media companies from antitrust laws – in order to allow them to form an otherwise illegal cartel.
With this new power, big media cartels could withhold their content from a platform and pressure those platforms into agreeing to other terms. In doing so, the cartel could also force platforms to prioritize the cartel’s content over that of smaller news outlets.
Surprisingly, while HR 5190 empowers big media to ignore anti-trust laws, it has found support from the anti-tech movement – even those claiming to oppose media consolidation. It’s part of a troubling trend where special interests attach their wish-lists to anti-tech rhetoric and “hipster antitrust”.
HR 5190 threatens to undermine a competitive media ecosystem and harm the social media platforms that Americans enjoy. We should reject attempts by those representing the ‘old economy’ to maintain relevance and gain advantage to the detriment of the consumer. Such a blatant attempt to do so lands this bill at #4 on iAWFUL.