The American Democrats, with a very narrow majority in the Senate, are struggling to carry their proposals for antitrust laws, even bipartisan. Politico reveals that some of them are simply considering abandoning a time-consuming fight, with little political interest, as the midterms approach.
The lobbying of digital giants is in full swing in the Senate
Chuck Schumer, Democratic Senate Majority Leader, is planning to push through a session next month on one of the most advanced antitrust bills in the US Congress. The American Innovation and Choice Online Act, championed by progressive Senator Amy Klobuchar and Republican Chuck Grassley, was passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee in early 2022.
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This text plans to prevent large digital companies from favoring, highlighting, their products on their platforms. Amazon will no longer be able to place its devices at the top of the results of its e-commerce site rather than those of its competitors.
The text, although voted on in the Commission by both parties, raised doubts among several Democratic senators. The elected representatives of California in particular had distinguished themselves. They felt it was unfair to specifically target Silicon Valley digital companies.
Critics have quietly multiplied since Chuck Schumer’s decision. According to the testimony of a Democratic parliamentary aide to Politicohis group should review its priorities, “ We should focus on things that will help consumers cope with rising costs “. He adds, ” No one can figure out why this would be a priority “.
A speech that would not be isolated in the corridors of Congress. Added to this is the fear of damaging the operation of very popular products such as Amazon Prime or Google docs. Arguments very directly inspired by lobbyists mobilized at a cost of tens of millions of dollars by large digital companies.
Time is running out for Democrats
Dan Geldon, former chief of staff to Senator Elizabeth Warren, a leading figure in the antitrust fight against big digital companies, spoke out against the criticisms made by some representatives of his camp to Politico“ the idea that a grassroots, bipartisan bill like this could harm any of the re-elected candidates does not pass the test of honesty. The polls are incredibly clear on this. “.
In the US Senate there are as many elected Democrats as Republicans. It is Vice President Kamala Harris who allows the progressive camp to dominate the chamber by a short head. Many fear that this narrow majority will be overturned in November 2022 during the midterm elections. While Republicans have participated in a number of antitrust bills, including the American Innovation and Choice Online Act, they might be tempted to pass less ambitious legislation. The Democrats hope to vote on their text by the summer to avoid this risk. It will still be necessary to appease the doubts which reign in their ranks.