Representative David Cicilline’s bipartisan package takes aim at tech companies and would be the biggest antitrust reform in decades. But is it too little, too fragmented and way too late? The tech-savvy Democrat is joining forces with Republicans like Ken Buck and Burgess Owens to push through a large suite of new antitrust legislation aimed at Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google. If the five bills are passed (without being watered down), they will empower regulators, raise the bar for mergers and acquisitions, and make it a whole lot easier for enforcers to break up businesses. The power of Big Tech is not news, so Kara starts by asking Representative Cicilline: Why did it take so long for Congress to try and catch up?
In this conversation, they break down the bills and discuss why the timing for sweeping tech regulation is particularly ripe in the aftermath of the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol enabled by social media. Kara presses the lawmaker to respond to criticisms — including the notion that the proposed legislation robs the tech robber barons of the proceeds of their innovation and allows government to pick and choose winners in a way that feels more fit for China than the United States. And she asks Cicilline why he thinks Big Tech is the common enemy that can unite Democrats and Republicans.