NYT: Klobuchar's antitrust bill is dead ... for now

From David McCabe and Stephanie Lai's "Clock Running Out on Antitrust Bill Targeting Big Tech" in Saturday's New York Times:

Critics of the country’s largest tech companies branded the last few months “Hot Antitrust Summer” because they hoped that Congress would vote on new regulations for Amazon, Apple, Google and Facebook.

The legislation’s chances of passing before Labor Day melted away instead. The Senate is expected to take up one last major matter of business before its August recess, debating and voting on the Democrats’ large climate, tax and health care package.

The failure to secure a vote is a setback for the politicians, activists and regulators who believe that Big Tech has too much control over commerce, communications and culture. After Labor Day, Washington will turn much of its attention to the midterm elections instead of major legislation. And if Republicans regain the majority in Congress, the regulations have a far smaller chance of being taken up.

“One of the senators actually said to me, ‘Maybe you’re just ahead of your time,’” Senator Amy Klobuchar, a Minnesota Democrat and the main driver of the legislation, said in an interview. “And I said to them, ‘Yeah, but being ahead of your time doesn’t mean that your time hasn’t come.’ And at some moment your time comes.”

My take: Klobuchar is relentless. And funny. That's her superpower.

See also: Apple and the Krysten Sinema buyback tax

12 Comments

  1. Jerry Doyle said:
    “…. The failure to secure a vote is a setback for the politicians, activists and regulators who believe that Big Tech has too much control over commerce, communications and culture.” It is for that reason there is the setback. Only certain politicians, activists and regulators held the misguided belief. There never existed a public outcry! Many of us long have denoted such on this public forum.

    Where are the consumers complaining how tech companies are squeezing out businesses trying to do commerce? Where are the consumers crying out how tech companies have too much authority over communications? Where are the consumers vocalizing that tech companies have too much right over our culture? Just ask any consumer jumping on TikTok or YouTube if they feel tech companies hamper today’s culture.

    TikTok, YouTube, tens-of-thousands of other Apps and BigTech “is” today’s culture providing an avenue, a forum, a path for new, unique and innovative start-ups and businesses to thrive. That is what consumers know, that is what consumers see and that is what consumers believe!

    Again, where is the public support behind this proposed legislation? It isn’t there! My friends, relatives and some acquaintances long have alerted my state’s US senators that this bill has no importance, has no ranking or priority in the scheme of all the pressing issues confronting our personal lives or this country today. Our public indignation was embraced by our Congressional staffers. They understood.

    This nation and the current administration has much more serious and pressing issues to address.

    8
    August 6, 2022
  2. Gregg Thurman said:
    Klobuchar is a grand standing blowhard. She is using anti-trust to get media attention (and the name recognition that comes with it) needed for re-election.

    Anti-trust is a safe issue because constituents don’t understand it, and nobody is being hurt by it, ergo there is no one to be offended by it. Any possible opponents at election time can’t take an opposite position because they’ll appear in favor of monopolies.

    She knows her bill will never pass, but that isn’t the point

    6
    August 6, 2022
    • S Lawton said:
      You may not like her but she isn’t up for reelection until 20254 and this bill will be long forgotten by then. She is one of the highest rated senators and does not need this to further her creds. I truly believe this is one area she is wrong but I respect her tenacity and ability to work with the other side of the aisle to get things done.

      0
      August 6, 2022
      • Steven Philips said:
        She may be too old to run again in 20254! And hopefully this will no longer be an issue by then. 🙂

        1
        August 6, 2022
  3. Robert Stack said:
    No matter her politics, it’s hard for me to respect anyone who exhibits “Trumpian” behavior like Sen Klobuchar, as has been reported many times by many sources. Why her Senate colleagues would respect her is a mystery to me. Here’s one example:

    “According to current and former employees, Klobuchar regularly yells at staffers over minor infractions and throws objects — allegedly hitting one aide with a hurled binder. She reportedly sabotages staffers who try to leave her office by calling their new employers and attempting to have their job offers rescinded. Her reputation is so well-known in Washington that she had trouble staffing her own presidential campaign, HuffPost reported. ​“The way she treats staff is disqualifying,” one former staffer told Yahoo! News last year.”

    Not including link to avoid delay in posting. Just google her name with “difficult to work with”…

    1
    August 6, 2022
    • S Lawton said:
      Two sides to every story including this in Medium
      “Open Letter to the Editors on the Recent Coverage of Amy Klobuchar”
      “We previously worked for Senator Klobuchar and some of us were among the former staffers contacted by the New York Times and other media outlets to share our experiences about working in her office. Unfortunately, the positive anecdotes and stories we experienced have not been fully reported by the Times and other media. We do not believe these reports adequately describe our thoughts on Amy Klobuchar, many of which we shared with the authors.

      Amy would be there for us after a loss in the family or help make an important call instrumental to our careers. She’d celebrate our professional accomplishments and be part of our lives, whether it was dancing at our weddings or visiting us after we brought our newborns home. She was there for us in the hard times, too. And at the office, she pushed us to be better professionals and public servants. We remain grateful for our time in Senator Klobuchar’s office and still consider Amy a mentor and friend. Sadly, this was not fully conveyed in the recent news reports.”
      Signed by over 60 former staffers

      1
      August 6, 2022
      • Robert Stack said:
        @S Lawton: Thx for informing me of this – I wasn’t aware of the “other side” to this story. But still, even if she is nice to some of her staffers, if even a few of the cited negative anecdotes are true it’s disturbing to me…

        However, I’m reminded by your comment (and hopefully others here are as well) that there are always two sides to a story. And just as Mr Jobs certainly had his flaws, perhaps Sen Klobuchar has some character defects that could also use a little remediation. 🙂

        4
        August 6, 2022
  4. Michael Goldfeder said:
    Just like Sinema who is bought by the hedge fund community, Klobuchar, Blackburn, Grassley, and several other low functioning Senators are equally owned by the “Coalition for App Fairness” and App Developers who are all seeking a free ride on Apple’s successful iOS platform.

    Amy is an energizer bunny with 15 second sound bites who wouldn’t last half that time on a zoom call with the Apple 3.0 subscribers. I have no doubt that Amy is the life of the party at all freeloading events such as weddings, school recitals, and anywhere else she can grab some free publicity. Unfortunately, her acumen when it comes to anything Apple related falls well short of the mark and exposes her and the rest of the foregoing “geniuses” as high tech dunces.

    Now before anyone gets all upset about disparaging remarks about good old “Amy”, Al Franken was another gem from the land of 10,000 lakes who should have remained at “Saturday Night Live”, where he actually provided a service to his country.

    2
    August 6, 2022

Leave a Reply