Carl Szabo, vice president and general counsel for tech trade association NetChoice, testified before the House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee in July in a two-part proceeding that included bipartisan grilling of witnesses about potential anticompetitive practices by big tech companies. NetChoice counts Facebook, Google, Twitter and others among its membership.
Szabo told the Deseret News there’s a sentiment afoot at state and federal levels to weaponize federal antitrust law.
“What you’re seeing is an attempt to use antitrust as a weapon to intimidate tech companies into complying with the whims of politicians,” Szabo said. “And that’s creating a dangerous precedent, not only for how we evaluate antitrust law for all businesses, but how we choose to treat issues of free speech for America.”
Szabo said the “lash outs” from some elected officials have stemmed from “tech businesses supporting or opposing the speech of a particular politician.”
He also noted polling conducted by his group, and others, reflects a disconnect between the will of voters and the “antitrust agendas” coming from both sides of the political divide.
“We did some polling and, not surprisingly, those making calls for anti-tech activity are out of touch,” Szabo said. “Polling conducted by NBC and the Wall Street Journal showed that Americans overwhelmingly like and support companies such as Google and Twitter and even companies like Facebook had a 50-50 breakdown.
“Democrats and Republicans advocating for anti-tech activity puts them out of touch with their constituents.”