(Originally aired on Nov. 14, 2021)
The following is a transcript of a report from "Full Measure with Sharyl Attkisson." Watch the video by clicking the link at the end of the page.
For years, Congress has talked — with no action — about regulating or even breaking up Big Tech. Now, there appears to be bipartisan support for doing something. The question is: exactly what? I spoke about that with Congressman Ken Buck, the lead Republican on Antitrust issues on the House Judiciary Committee.
Sharyl: What are some of the things that the big companies have done that you call into question?
Rep. Ken Buck: So they have crushed competition. I can give you dozens of examples. But they literally have stolen information from competitors and then use their platform— And that's where the real monopoly is, is when you go to Amazon, when you go use Apple, when you are using Facebook or Twitter, those platforms are near monopolies. And so what they've done is they have then rejected or discriminated against the competitor's product and placed their product above that in the searches. And so, they have put competitors out of business or forced them to merge or be acquired by these giant companies.
Sharyl: What does a regulation sort of a de-monopolization of that industry look like?
Buck: I see a few things happening. The first thing is I think that the mergers that have occurred 750 mergers occurred in 10 years, mostly during the Obama administration, that were never scrutinized. I think those mergers can be undone. I think that the Instagram merger with Facebook, WatsApp with Facebook, YouTube, with Google, I think all those mergers can be undone. I also think that, when mergers are prohibited, or at least the burden shifts from the government to the company, to the monopoly, to prove that the merger is pro-competitive, as opposed to the government having to prove that it's anti-competitive, I think at that point, you've slowed down the unfair growth of these companies and you allow the, the smaller competitors to grow and compete and gain market share. And I'm not suggesting that other than the merger situation, that, that, that Facebook or Google can be broken up, but I am suggesting that their rapid growth can be slowed and allow competition in the marketplace.
Sharyl: There have been, I think, dozens of hearings with some of these big tech chiefs - Congress keeps dragging them back in and asking them tough questions, and then nothing seems to happen.
Buck: Number one, these companies have decided in, in a very rational decision to co-opt both the conservative movement and the liberal movement, they have spent a lot of money in Washington, DC and around the country to donate to foundations that would, in some ways be the gatekeepers of information or conduct private oversight. And so they have influenced much of what we would think of as oversight. They've also spent a lot of money on politicians in this town, and it's one of the reasons why I have a pledge to not take money from the five monopoly platforms signed by 10, 12 of my colleagues, but not signed by 400 or so other colleagues. And so I think it's really important that we walk away from that kind of money in this town, but they, they have been very influential and they have been very strategic in how they've gone about it.
Sharyl: It seems like both political parties want somewhat different things out of Big Tech if it comes to changes. For example, Republicans may want less restriction of information. Some Democrats have expressed that they want more control of information that they deem to be harmful or bad.
Buck: It's incredible to me that this has been as bipartisan as it has. And, and I think it's a great observation: It's been bi-partisan for much different reasons, but it's still been bipartisan. Democrats have a “big is bad” attitude, that any company that gets to a certain size should be punished in some way. Republicans have concerns with privacy laws. They have concerns with competition in the marketplace, the old Chicago school, the Milton Friedman theories of antitrust come into play with a lot of the Republican thinking. But these two sides have come together in, on Capitol Hill and are moving a lot of legislation forward.
Sharyl (on-camera): A big Google critic was recently named to a top Justice Department antitrust post. However, there are many who insist the government should leave Big Tech — as offensive as it may sometimes be — alone.
Watch story here.
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Bill Andrews says
Sharyl this Article ? I'm thinking to Filing a Whistle Blower case with the Securities and exchange commission to check and see if any of these companies collecting user Data in HP > Microsoft laptops running Windows and Google Android devices = my tablet and phone, has collected in the past ( Despite my devices privacy and security settings saying not to be collecting and sharing, Users Administrative rights to privacy settings ? ) to see if they Collected Formula's for New Antibiotics and A New Cancer treatment Drug Formulas . I worked on in the past for Years. I'm going to Submit all New Drug Formulas to See if in Fact these companies Hiding in the background, had in fact took user Data and traded and or sold my past Formulas work, I worked on each Formula for more then a Year and a half on each... Once I submit Formulas to the Securities exchange Commissions can run a investigation review of Formulas to see if any of these Big Tech companies are involved in a Fake Antitrust securities computer settings Ponzi, deceiving a Entire World in Fake Actor Antitrust Laws collecting Users (( Entire World )) Intellectual property on devices than Trading or selling such information ??? ( The News Agencies in South Bend IN. Knows the Truth of what they been doing to my devices at my Home ( Rochester, IN. ) and they need to be reporting Facts to the D.O.J as to who's doing this ?..) Big Tech Insider Trading "Who's in your Wallet ? In Real Criminal Law Antitrust settings ?, You cannot be setting up a Ponzi and or Fraud Users into Buying your devices products with Fake security and privacy settings Ideas, Just so all these Big Tech companies can Trick people capturing your info then sneaking behind peoples back and trading and selling that info ??? That's a Ponzi, Data Laundering scheme to users personnel info and Intellectual property and these poor College kids also in Debt up to there eyebrows, think about that implications ? Big Tech is not the NSA nor are they the Supreme Court or All of Law makers in Washington, D.C. from every other State, getting to dictate there own determination ? They don't get to inflict there own determination of what the Antitrust Laws are going to be to the rest of the World, not inline with Federal Antitrust Laws ?
Bill Andrews says
Further Worthy to mention update to my previous comment post here before ? I filed a complaint with the Federal Trade commission about these devices with pre-installed hidden tracking pup's and other tracking apps hidden in systems ? See FTC case number # 149027320 . I don't know why these Big tech companies are putting this kind of stuff on devices pre-installed for public sales = deceptive to us all putting systems at high risks ? Added in with my report to Federal trade commission was the new Chemical Formulas I had discovered in the past to New Antibiotics and a New Cancer treatment Formulas .. They can check into and see there not Fake News New formulas, I spent past years on in past..! Formulas proof Don't lie !