Democrats are threatening to regulate Big Tech. But they’re saying it while their pockets are stuffed with donations from these companies.
The House Judiciary Committee announced it was having a hearing concerning “Online Platforms and Market Power, Part 1: The Free and Diverse Press.” The hearing will be held on June 11, at 2:00 pm.
The hearing, led by Democrats, will look into tech companies, “to determine if they’ve become so large and powerful that they stifle competition and harm consumers,” according to the Washington Post. The primary focus is on Facebook and Google, but eventually, says subcommittee chairman and Congressman David Cicilline (D-RI), the hearings could look at Amazon and Apple.
However, according to OpenSecrets.org, some of the Democrats in the subcommittee which convened the hearing received donations from Google’s parent company, Alphabet, in 2018. One representative, Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), received donations from Amazon, Facebook, and Alphabet during her 2018 campaign.
In total, six Democrats from this subcommittee received a total of $46,459 in donations in 2018 from the very companies they seek to investigate for antitrust violations.
CNBC released a report on June 9 that detailed the amount of money these corporations have been pouring into political lobbying in Washington in the past year. The report states that Google spent $21.7 million in lobbying in the year 2018. “No company in America is pouring more money into those efforts than Google,” according to CNBC. While Facebook and Amazon were not quite at the same level as Google, the two companies were still in the top 20 biggest lobbying spenders. Amazon spent $14.4 million in lobbying, while Facebook spent $12.6 million.
The hearing scheduled for Tuesday will have witnesses News Media Alliance CEO David Chavern, Atlanta Journal-Constitution editor Kevin Riley, and Open Markets Institute’s Sally Hubbard.