Senate Judiciary Committee GOP members split over antitrust remedies for big tech

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At a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing about data privacy and competition policy, GOP senators signaled they are divided over whether to pursue antitrust enforcement against the country's largest tech companies. Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) expressed concern that Google and Facebook "own 70 percent of digital advertising in the world," asking witnesses for potential "antitrust remedies" to apply to advertising practices. But he stopped short of calling for any specific actions. Sen Ted Cruz (R-TX) focused his remarks on the "size, power [and] market cap" of Google, calling the company "larger than Standard Oil was when it was broken up and larger than AT&T was when it was broken up."  "There are many on this committee, including myself, concerned about potential anticompetitive conduct from Google," Sen Cruz said. Sen Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) echoed his sentiments, saying she is concerned "there are openings for market abuse and exploitation of consumer data and also for being able to use these platforms and then drive out competition."

Sen John Cornyn (R-TX) said he thinks "the discussion of breaking up a Google or breaking up a Facebook is not what we should be doing." He called for giving users "more information" about how the companies use their data rather than imposing stringent regulations on how they operate. "[Users] can vote with your feet," Sen Cornyn said. "You can either break them up by no longer interacting with them or you can build them up because you’re comfortable with their … standards." 

GOP senators split over antitrust remedies for big tech Hearing Page