Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer will decide whether to hold a vote on legislation aimed at forcing more competition on big tech firms. Recently he has become the beneficiary of a wave of personal donations from lobbyists for the internet giants, reported Bloomberg.
After receiving no money from any of the top lobbyists for Apple Inc., Amazon.com Inc. or Alphabet Inc. in the two previous election cycles going back to 2017, Schumer’s attracted some $30,000 in direct donations to his campaign from the lobbyists and executives of the companies opposed to a bill that would curb how the platforms operate.
It’s a sign of stepped-up lobbying and donations by individuals as the power of the technology giants comes under scrutiny on Capitol Hill, a Bloomberg News review of giving shows.
Congress is considering the American Choice and Innovation Online Act sponsored by Minnesota Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar to prevent companies from using their platforms to disadvantage rivals.
Klobuchar’s antitrust bill would be the most significant piece of legislation aimed at the tech giants to pass Congress after years of inaction. Despite bipartisan anger at the industry, lawmakers have been unable to pass significant regulation.
After delaying the vote, Schumer said he’s working with Klobuchar and others to gather the 60 needed votes to pass the legislation and plans to bring it to the floor in September. If it becomes law, the largest tech companies could be forced to change their business practices, potentially costing them billions of dollars.
With a decision looming, the industry’s lobbyists are reaching more deeply into their own pockets and targeting those who might be swayed against the bill.
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