Senate won’t vote on tech antitrust bill before summer recess: Klobuchar

It was a day before the U.S. Capitol’s anniversary when Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), chair of the U.S. Senate Rules and Administration Committee, led the Senate Judiciary Committee to investigate the U.S. Capitol Police. January 5, 2022 attack on Washington USA

Elizabeth Franz | Reuters

The most promising technology antitrust bill to move through Congress won’t get a vote before the summer break, lead sponsor Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn. , he admitted in a recent interview on MSNBC’s “Symone.”

Axios said Klobuchar spoke on Saturday with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DNI, about voting on the American Innovation and Choice Online Act in the fall.

“We clearly can’t do it with the overwhelming majority of votes we’re getting this week on the inflation-reduction bill,” she said, according to Axios.

Klobuchar’s legislation, co-sponsored by Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, would bar major tech platforms from using their own products against competitors who rely on their services. That can have a huge impact on how companies like Amazon, Apple and Google, for example, display search results on their marketplaces.

Champions of the bill say the reform is necessary to balance power in digital markets and allow new creators to thrive. But critics, including tech companies, argued the bill would worsen the user experience by weakening security standards and the ability of platforms to remove harmful products from their marketplaces. Klobuchar and other supporters of the bill denied that was the case.

Schumer previously said he aimed to bring the bill to a vote by early summer, Axios reported in early May. But while Klobuchar and others expressed confidence that the bill would win a filibuster-proof majority if it were brought to the Senate floor, Schumer was not yet scheduled to vote on it in the Senate’s final week before the August recess.

The bill could get another shot this year after the midterm elections, though that leaves little time for completion. Many supporters of the bill believe it will be very difficult to pass if Republicans take control of the House, as many voters predict. And supporters fear that the longer it takes to bring the bill to a vote, the more likely tech lobbyists will plant seeds of doubt in the minds of lawmakers.

Klobuchar’s office did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

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See: Here’s why some experts are calling for Big Tech to break up after House antitrust report.

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