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In Early Days of Democrats’ Antitrust Agenda, Big Tech’s Trade Associations Could Play an Outsized Role

In interviews with Morning Consult, both the Consumer Technology Association and NetChoice leaned into arguments major tech companies have used to push back against growing scrutiny coming their way: pointing to the sprawling number of competitors cropping up in each company’s sectors and pushing for antitrust reforms that go beyond the tech industry.

But Carl Szabo, vice president and general counsel of NetChoice, said trying to educate lawmakers and those in the executive branch about the ramifications of antitrust reform on the tech industry has been “really tough.” In those meetings, Szabo said he’s mostly reminding people about the long-term impacts of using antitrust as a political weapon, saying it could set a precedent that Democrats could regret whenever Republicans reclaim power.

NetChoice is also pushing to reform competition laws beyond the tech industry, with a one-pager released this month calling for the expansion of antitrust enforcement to include nonprofits, educational institutions and state licensing boards. Szabo referenced an anticipated bill reintroduction from Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), the ranking member of the antitrust panel, that focuses on state licensing board competition as something NetChoice would support.