New antitrust committee chairwoman Sen. Amy Klobuchar has introduced sweeping legislation aimed at Congress’s favorite punching bag: “Big Tech.” While some Democrats and Republicans assert that major technology companies have done something wrong, there has actually been little agreement on what that something is.
But one thing is certain: Punitive measures spurred by political malice will not increase competition in the marketplace. Instead, such measures will stifle innovation at a time when digital evolution is critical to our economy and day-to-day life.
In the midst of this global pandemic, employers, teachers, and workers are more reliant on technology than ever before. Protecting consumer access and the market through even-handed and light-touch antitrust enforcement is thus critical. An overzealous approach by the government would be a stark departure from precedent. The consumer welfare standard has been the bedrock of antitrust law for the past four decades. However, Klobuchar’s legislation would be