Klobuchar Says Big Tech Bills Will Have To Wait Till After Summer Recess

The most promising tech antitrust bill to move through Congress won’t get a vote before the summer recess, its lead sponsor Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., admitted in a recent interview on MSNBC’s “Symone.”

Klobuchar said on Saturday she talked with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., last week about having a vote on the American Innovation and Choice Online Act in the fall, according to Axios.

“We’re not going to be able to do it this week, obviously, with the major vote we’re having on the Inflation Reduction Act,” she said, according to Axios’ transcription.

Klobuchar’s bill, co-sponsored by Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, would prohibit dominant tech platforms from advantaging their own products over rivals’ that rely on their services. That could have a significant impact on how companies like Amazon, Apple and Google display search results on their marketplaces, for example.

The bill’s champions say the reform is necessary to rebalance the power in digital markets and allow newer innovators to thrive. But critics, including the tech companies, have argued the bill would worsen the consumer experience by potentially weakening security standards and the platforms’ ability to kick harmful products off of their marketplaces. Klobuchar and other backers of the bill have denied that’s the case.

Schumer previously said he aimed to put the bill to a vote by early summer, Axios was first to report in May. But while Klobuchar and others have expressed confidence the bill would receive a filibuster-proof majority if brought to the Senate floor, Schumer had yet to schedule the vote by the Senate’s final week in session before the August recess.

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