The DOJ Can’t Be Trusted with Big Tech
Big Tech worries the Trump administration may crackdown on their monopolies and censorship. Conservatives should want the government to take action, but it must be done right.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is certainly worried about a potential crackdown. He recently met with conservative figures to quell justified concerns about his platform’s bias and censorship.
Over the summer, the Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice announced they would investigate several tech giants for possible trust violations. These investigations are likely making Big Tech feel the heat, but the situation resembles a confusing mess.
Just weeks ago, the FTC reportedly sent a letter to the DOJ to complain about the way they are handling their investigation. The FTC’s letter signals that not all is right with these dueling investigations and that one agency may derail the whole effort to rein in Big Tech.
And it’s not the FTC.
Big Tech is not the only left-wing corporate monopoly the DOJ seems intent on helping. It also may be trying to eliminate or weaken anti-competitive regulations against the music industry fat cats. Doing so would reward a left-wing industry whose business practices are just as dubious as Big Tech’s.
In 2016, the entertainment industry donated nearly $8.5 million to the Hillary Clinton campaign. Meanwhile, Donald Trump only received $266,000 from entertainment figures. Similar figures have been found in nearly every election in recent memory. Like Big Tech, this is not an industry that conservatives should reward.
The anti-monopoly protections the DOJ may relax or scrap have been in place since 1941 with ASCAP and BMI, two entities that license 90-percent of all music and have engaged in repeated anti-free market activity. They require these monopolies to license music at fair market rates to anyone who makes the request.
It is troubling that the DOJ is considering rewarding these Hollywood elites today. Its action provide even more certainty on what the Department will do with the government’s Big Tech investigation if given the opportunity.
After all, just three years ago, even the DOJ from the Hollywood-biased Obama administration ruled after a two-year investigation that these protections were still needed for consumers’ sake. There have been no radical technological breakthroughs or incredible changes in music consumption since 2016 to warrant a different opinion. In fact, in that same year, ASCAP had to pay out nearly $2 million for violating antitrust regulations. And yet, the current DOJ has ignored its predecessor’s detailed review and is starting over. It appears blinded by facts and entirely driven by pro-monopoly instincts.
Which raises the question: How can the Trump administration possibly trust DOJ with its critical Big Tech investigation when the Department is already seemingly coddling up to a left-wing monopoly? Especially when that said antitrust enforcer already has a history of downplaying their wrongdoing?
In the crusade against the social media giants, the current White House needs a reformer that is not afraid to impose new antitrust rulings against the monopolies that harm consumers the most. Someone who already seems intent on putting effective remedies for predatory monopolies on the chopping block just won’t fit the bill.
And so, the best way to ensure Big Tech is investigated properly is to leave it in the hands of the FTC. That agency has remained unbiased, free of judgment clowders, and doesn’t have to worry about the DOJ’s contrarian suspicious, opinions, and connections.
Here’s hoping that the FTC’s concerns are addressed and that the Trump administration can get DOJ to stand down.