Rep. Buck Talks Big Tech and Antitrust – Akron News-Reporter

While an entrepreneur Elon Musk bought more than 74 million shares and spent at least $2.64 billion supposedly aimed at inducing changes within the social media platform Twitter, members of Congress will continue to examine the options available to him to deal with Big Tech, said U.S. Representative Ken BuckR-Windsor.

Buck is the Republican-ranking member of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law. He is also one of the few members of Congress to have renounced donations from Big Tech.

“It’s a much lower ceiling to go in and influence politics on Twitter,” Buck said. “It may even exceed Elon Musk’s ability to do this with Apple and Amazon.”

Since late January, Musk has acquired a 9.2% stake in Twitter, according to an SEC filing. He was offered a position on Twitter’s board of directors, which would have limited him to a 14.9% ownership stake in the company, which he declined. As recently as a Tweet on April 9, Musk asked if Twitter was dying from the perspective that the most followed accounts rarely tweet.

“I think that’s a positive,” Buck said. “I think Elon would bring a lot more balance to Twitter than someone like Jack Dorsey. He’s a lot more willing to encourage debate.

Twitter and other social media platforms should be seen as the “advancements in print and broadcast media of the previous century,” Buck said, indicating that he agreed with Musk’s position that freedom of expression should reign online.

Buck supports “Open App” legislation to encourage app stores to be a more open marketplace. An open apps bill will be introduced in the House this year, Buck said.

He also supports expanding the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which allowed for portability.

“It allowed consumers to move their phone contacts from one cellphone provider to another,” Buck said. “Portability for Big Tech would mean [users] can take their research file with them to a new platform.

He’s also backing a Big Tech bill that would allow state attorneys general to be filed in their home state and get a hearing there, instead of leading to a hearing in more pro-state courts. Silicon Valley.

As a ranking member of the subcommittee on antitrust, trade and administrative law, Buck could be in line to chair the committee, should Republicans take control of the House following the general election in November, but Buck has warned that this has not been decided. . Still, as a member of the rankings, he has a voice towards Big Tech and other elements that could be heard by the committee until the end of the year.

“I think we need to work with pharmaceuticals to reduce prescription drug costs,” Buck said. “This is something that would probably require a year-long investigation – a thoughtful investigation, not an investigation where you start with an answer and move on. Why do we pay more here in America for drugs than citizens of other countries ?”

On whether Major-League Baseball still deserves its antitrust exemption: “I might want to wait and see how the Rockies do this season before I respond to that,” Buck said, without stating a position on the issue. ‘exemption.

The bye was granted nearly a century ago, on May 29, 1922, a season when Rogers Hornsby batted for the National League Triple Crown with 42 homers, 152 RBIs and a .401 batting average, and edged Babe Ruth by 7 homers. The exemption allows MLB to essentially act as a monopoly.

The threat to remove the exemption came from both sides of the political spectrum, from complaints related to low minor league pay rates and the reduction of minor league teams to those frustrated by the move of the All-Star Game from Atlanta. .

“Circumstances were very different 100 years ago,” Buck said. “It clearly protects major league teams.”