New Study Says Antitrust Bills Put US Security At Risk

Bipartisan antitrust legislation aimed at Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google could hurt US competitiveness and give foreign adversaries access to sensitive information, according to a new report from a tech industry group.

According to Bloomberg, the white paper from the Computer & Communications Industry Association, which counts all four companies among its members, argues that a series of antitrust bills approved by the House Judiciary Committee in June would help foreign competitors, including Chinese and Russian companies, by placing severe restrictions solely on US tech giants.

Many of the paper’s arguments echo warnings from technology groups and lawmakers who opposed the measures during a June hearing.

In part because of their size and ability to innovate, US tech companies are valuable partners for the US government and intelligence community to counter global cyber threats, according to Dan Coats, a former Republican senator and director of national intelligence who now works at law firm King & Spalding and helped write the report.

Related: How the House Antitrust Bills Preserve Platforms’ Editorial Discretion and Spur Consumer Choice

“A lot of people are talking about the pros and cons of the economic impacts and innovation, which is legitimate, but also take a look at the national security,” Coats said in an interview Friday, September 10. He urged lawmakers to consult with House and Senate intelligence committees and federal agencies before voting on antitrust legislation that he said could have unintended consequences.

The House Judiciary Committee approved a series of six bipartisan antitrust bills, and four of them target Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google. It’s not clear when or if those four bills will get a vote on the House floor. Senators on the antitrust subcommittee have said they plan to introduce some similar measures.

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