Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) has revealed legislation that would strengthen United States antitrust laws, in what the populist senator calls a return to the Republican party’s history of trust-busting.
Sen. Hawley provided details of his legislation exclusively to Axios, a left-wing publication.
Details: Hawley’s “Trust-Busting for the Twenty-First Century Act” would …
- Ban mergers and acquisitions by firms with a market cap over $100 billion
- Lower the threshold for prosecution under existing federal antitrust laws, replacing the prevalent “consumer harm” standard with one that emphasizes “the protection of competition”
- Require companies that lose federal antitrust lawsuits to “forfeit all their profits resulting from monopolistic conduct”
- Give the Federal Trade Commission new power to designate and regulate “dominant digital firms” in different online markets
As Axios notes, the plan would impact Silicon Valley, but it would also impact “virtually every economic sector,” including big media companies and banks.
Sen. Hawley told Axios that the Republican party “has got to become the party of trust-busting once again. You know, that’s a part of our history.”
The Missouri senator is seen as one of the most vocal critics of corporate power in the Republican party. He previously introduced legislation to rein in abuses of power and political interference by Silicon Valley tech giants.
Similarly to this bill, Hawley’s proposal to stop tech censorship would have only applied to companies above a certain market cap, evading typical libertarian criticisms of hurting small competitors to big corporations with blanket regulation.
Hawley has attracted the criticism of establishment conservative think tanks in D.C., which, often funded by big tech companies, remain largely remain committed to a hands-off approach to big business.
Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News. He is the author of #DELETED: Big Tech’s Battle to Erase the Trump Movement and Steal The Election.