How Arizona Can Leverage Antitrust Laws to Reel in Big Tech
How much longer will the government allow Facebook, Twitter, Google, Amazon, and Apple to run amok? Is their penchant to play speech police enough? Google-owned YouTube has a history of deplatforming and demonetizing conservative organizations. And by now, you probably know that Twitter didn’t hesitate to ban President Trump while he was still the President of the United States.
Or what about their influence on this past November’s election? Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg alone gave hundreds of millions of dollars to election offices to influence local elections. And as you can probably assume, it wasn’t to ensure the process remained fair and nonpartisan.
Or could it be Big Tech’s uncanny ability to collude with each other to serve their own interests? Just ask Parler how it went when Apple, Google, and Amazon conspired to remove the new social media company from the internet—an objective that Apple still appears to be committed to.
Big Tech companies are out of control, and it’s time for the government and our lawmakers to do something about it. Consumers rightfully expect a free marketplace where all individuals and companies can compete on a level playing field. But these Big Tech companies are becoming increasingly monopolistic. And while it was good to see 46 states, including Arizona, join the Federal Trade Commission to sue Facebook for such practices this past December, more work needs to be done.
Now, Arizona can play a key role in this effort.
Since 1974, our state law has prohibited actions that seek to restrict or monopolize trade. Arizona’s government and lawmakers should be leveraging such laws to reel in Big Tech before the problem gets even worse. Thankfully, the Arizona Senate is now looking to do just that by taking an important step forward with SB1155.
The purpose of this bill is to appropriate $1 million from the Antitrust Enforcement Fund to the Arizona Attorney General to “investigate and bring enforcement actions against technology companies engaging in anti-competitive, anti-consumer, or monopolistic behavior.” This would give the Attorney General the resources needed to litigate against Big Tech companies that violate Arizona’s antitrust laws.
And what better time than right now for such litigation to take place?
After all, Big Tech companies are gaining more and more power each day. And as they do, they will wield it on an even greater scale to stop emerging competition, stifle innovation, censor speech, and feed the fire of our current “cancel culture.”
That’s how we’ve gotten to where we are right now. And it’s going to get even worse if our government and lawmakers don’t do something about it. Just think about what that could mean for conservative voices and platforms—or even the next election.
It’s time for our state legislature to act. Arizona companies and consumers are being harmed by the Big Tech monopoly. But this can all be changed if lawmakers ensure everyone—including these tech companies—abides by the American principles of free speech, fair competition, and equal opportunity.
This article was published on March 18, 2021 at the Arizona Free Enterprise Club and reproduced with permission.
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