Can Antitrust Reform Legislation Get to 60 Votes?

This piece was originally published in The Hill.

With the August recess underway, it is time to take stock of Congress’ remaining agenda. One big item that is still on Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s (D-N.Y.) public to-do list is the American Innovation and Choice Online Act (AICOA). After promising a floor vote on the bill earlier this summer, the majority leader has shifted the deadline to later this fall. This delay raises the question of whether Senate leadership really intends to bring AICOA to a vote and, more importantly, whether it could pass through the Senate’s 60-vote threshold.

The American Innovation and Choice Online Act is the result of a years-long, bicameral push to reform antitrust law to rein in Big Tech firms. It would prohibit large online platforms from preferencing their own products and services over those of third parties and grant the Federal Trade Commission new authority to levy heavy fines for violation. Led by Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), AICOA has bipartisan support in both chambers and passed the Senate Judiciary Committee earlier this year. But disagreement about what the bill does and what it should do have also resulted in bipartisan opposition.

The key difference of opinion about AICOA, split along party lines, centers around whether the bill would impact content moderation. One provision of AICOA would prohibit large online platforms from discriminating “in the application or enforcement of the terms of service.” Klobuchar maintains that this provision will not impact content moderation decisions by large online platforms. But this assurance is not enough for some Democrats who want platforms to counter misinformation through more stringent content moderation.

Click here to read the full piece in The Hill.


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