Break It Up! Sen. Josh Hawley Introduces New ‘Trust-Busting’ Bill

April 12th, 2021 4:16 PM

Big Tech companies often try to get away with practices like censorship that harm consumers, but one United States senator has a plan to fight back. 

Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) has introduced the “Trust-Busting for the Twenty-First Century Act” (the Act). Hawley’s bill would reform the 131-year-old Sherman Antitrust Act and the Federal Trade Commission Act and protect the “sanctity of competition,” according to Axios

If an antitrust lawsuit is brought against a company, the company would have to prove that “the procompetitive effects of the conduct clearly outweigh the anticompetitive effects of the conduct; and the defendant could not obtain substantially similar procompetitive effects through commercially reasonable alternatives that would involve materially lower competitive risks.”

The act also specifies that if a company is found to have acted in an anticompetitive manner, “the court shall order disgorgement of all profits earned by the defendant as a result of the conduct constituting that violation.”

Hawley’s bill would also make it harder for massive companies to buy up their smaller competitors. The bill stated that “No person with a market capitalization exceeding $100,000,000,000” can acquire any “stocks or assets” that may “lessen competition in any way.”

Finally, the act gives the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) authority to issue “investigative demands” for “dominant digital firm[s].”

Hawley railed against the “growing political power, not just of Tech, although that’s quite significant, but industries across the board” in an April 12 call with reporters.  

Hawley also discussed the need for antitrust reform now. “For economic reasons, for pro-competitive reasons, for our workers, and also, frankly, for the health of our democracy, we’re going to have to change the law,” said Hawley. “We’re going to have to make it more enforceable, we’re going to have to make it clearer, and we’re going to have to focus it on economic competition.”

Last month, five more states joined in one of three antitrust lawsuits against Google. Facebook has its own share of antitrust worries with one antitrust lawsuit from the FTC and one from a coalition of 48 states and territories.

Conservatives are under attack. Contact your representatives and demand that Big Tech be held to account to mirror the First Amendment while providing transparency, clarity on “hate speech” and equal footing for conservatives. If you have been censored, contact us at the Media Research Center contact form, and help us hold Big Tech accountable.