Crowdfund effort launched to push antitrust bills vote

The digital rights group Fight for the Future is launching a crowdfund campaign to press Senate leadership to bring two antitrust bills targeting tech giants to a floor vote.

“Democrats control the House, the Senate, and the White House,” Evan Greer, the group’s director, told The Hill Tuesday. 

“They have a once in a lifetime opportunity to advance overwhelmingly popular bipartisan legislation that would finally crack down on Big Tech monopoly power and abuses,” she continued. “If they fail, they will have no one but themselves to blame, and the American people will not forget.”

The group is raising money to run an ad encouraging Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) to bring the bills forward in New York.

The two pieces of legislation — the American Innovation and Choice Online (AICO) Act and the Open App Markets Act — were both advanced through the Senate Judiciary Committee on bipartisan votes earlier this year, albeit with reservations from some backers.

The AICO Act would block dominant online companies such as Amazon, Apple, Google and Facebook’s parent company Meta from preferencing their products and discriminating against rivals on their platforms, while the Open App Markets Act is targeted at reducing the gatekeeping power of Apple and Google over smartphone app markets.

The AICO Act has recently picked up high profile endorsements from the Justice Department and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo.

Despite the Biden administration’s support, neither bill has yet been brought to the Senate floor for a vote.

And with a rapidly narrowing window ahead of the midterms, when Democrats could lose their majorities in both chambers, activists and big tech critics are pushing for swift action.

The Hill has reached out to Schumer’s office for comment on the campaign launched Tuesday.

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