Antitrust – Microsoft needs to face antitrust scrutiny on par with other large technology companies, wrote Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) in a letter to the company on Monday.
Brad Smith is asked in Jordan’s letter if Microsoft would be affected by the swath of antitrust bills proposed earlier this month by the House of Representatives. A total of five bills affect antitrust enforcement, banning technology platforms from acquiring smaller competitors and offering more money to antitrust enforcers.
Microsoft need to be scrutinized for antitrust violations
Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google were the targets of a years-long antitrust investigation. There is uncertainty about how these measures will affect other large companies like Microsoft, as they relate to the anticompetitive behaviors of these four companies. The bills don’t mention specific products or services of Microsoft, even though it meets the requirement to be a “covered platform” under these bills, such as having over $600 billion in market capitalization and 50 million monthly active users.
Jordan claimed Microsoft, Inc. is the target of Big Tech. There is no clear explanation for why Microsoft has escaped significant Democratic scrutiny.”
The same standards might apply to Microsoft when it acquires companies, such as the burden of proof and making the data it collects more portable and reusable. Microsoft would likely not be subject to these rules, while Amazon and Apple would face more structural changes, such as the sale of separate divisions.
It comes as House Republican caucus rift over the package is widening among Jordan’s letter in which he also claims Microsoft is biased against conservatives. Republicans and Democrats co-sponsored all five bills, but not all Republicans agreed. In a Wall Street Journal article from last week, it was revealed that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) does not support the bills.
Jordan appears to oppose the measures as well, instead opting to take different actions against tech, such as reinterpreting Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act to target platforms that censor conservative speech.
Democrats are less concerned about conservative censorship than their impeachment managers. How will they accomplish their next goal? In a tweet last week, Jordan suggested empowering large corporations and governmental entities to make it worse.
House antitrust subcommittee leader Ken Buck (R-CO) targeted Jordan for his Twitter comments, saying: “Using antitrust laws to stop BigTech’s bad behavior isn’t big government, it’s law enforcement.” A markup of the package is planned for Wednesday by the House Judiciary Committee.
Voting plans for each member are unclear. Fox Corp. lobbyists and News Corp. lobbyists worked to convince House Republicans to vote in favor of the bills earlier this month. The Fox News host Tucker Carlson expressed his support for the bills on his show last Friday as well.