Hill Preps for Big Tech Thursday

U.S. Capitol
(Image credit: Capitol)

Thursday will be a busy day on Capitol Hill on the issue of the power of Big Tech and what, if anything, to do about it.

The House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee is holding an afternoon hearing on "Proposals to Strengthen the Antitrust Laws and Restore Competition Online."

Witnesses for the hearing are William Baer of the Brookings Institution; Zephyr Teachout, Fordham University School of Law; Michael Kades, Washington Center for Equitable Growth; Sabeel Rahman, Demos; Christopher Yoo, University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School; Rachel Bovard, Conservative Partnership Institute; Tad Lipsky, Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University; and Sally Hubbard, Open Markets Institute.

The Federal Trade Commission, Justice Department and Congress has all been looking into how edge giants like Facebook and Google and Twitter got that way and whether antitrust laws failed to capture anticompetitive conduct on their way from garage start-ups to companies with market cap topping the GDP of entire countries.

Among the suggestions for antitrust law changes have been to lower the deal-value threshold (currently $92 million) that triggers automatic reviews.

Also on Thursday, the Senate Commerce Committee will be voting in an executive session (the meeting has been moved from 10 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.) on whether to authorize subpoenas for the following Big Tech CEOs to appear at a hearing: Jack Dorsey, Twitter; Sundar Pichai, Alphabet Inc. (Google); and Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.