Let’s Not Forget Why AICOA And Other Anti-Tech Legislation Failed Last Congress
Check out these three must-reads detailing why previous anti-tech legislation, like the American Innovation and Choice Online Act (AICOA), was misguided and ultimately failed.
1) Professor Herbert Hovenkamp: AICOA “was a bill that deserved to die.”
— Professor Hovenkamp criticized AICOA’s “gatekeeper” approach of targeting leading companies in a particular sector, saying the approach “should be abandoned.” “AICOA was a bill that deserved to die. The issue certainly remains alive, however, and will almost certainly be considered again by Congress. When it does so, the ‘gatekeeper’ approach to competition policy should be abandoned. It is too narrow because it ignores the conduct of firms that are not designated as gatekeepers, including offline sellers who are not included no matter what their size. It is too broad because it overreaches, perhaps egregiously, to condemn competitively harmless conduct on those firms that are defined as gatekeepers.”
2) Former Obama Admin DOJ Economist Carl Shapiro: “I am concerned about the factual underpinnings and economic reasoning behind” the regulatory bills targeting leading tech companies in the 117th Congress.
— In the Network Law Review, Shapiro critiques Congress’ recent anti-tech legislation. “Congress, in drafting legislation, does not appear to have paid sufficient attention to the lessons we have learned from more than a century of regulation aimed at promoting competition and controlling market power.”
— Shapiro continues: “We also learn that regulations intended to promote competition can all too easily become ineffective, as they are overtaken by technological advances, or downright counterproductive by stifling innovation.”
3) DisCo Project: AICOA “failed to pass because of serious privacy, security, and content moderation problems.”
— A recent DisCo post points to the numerous concerns about AICOA that were never addressed by sponsors. AICOA “failed to pass because of serious privacy, security, and content moderation problems that were identified early on but never adequately addressed by sponsors and supporters.”
— The DisCo post continues: “It is time for Congress to return to basic economics and promote antitrust efforts from a grounded, evidence-driven perspective or the failures of this legislative approach will be repeated in the new Congress.”
See here, here, and here for more from Springboard on the shortcomings of AICOA.