Why we’re dropping everything to go all in on antitrust
Movement moments don’t happen very often. But right now, everything is converging around two Big Tech antitrust bills that have a real shot at passing in the coming days. We’re calling it Antitrust Summer, and now’s the time to get on board.
TL;DR: Two bipartisan antitrust bills cracking down on Big Tech monopolies are poised to pass in a matter of days — but only if we make enough noise to defeat an army of industry lobbyists. We’re calling on all Internet users, small businesses, and organizations to join us for a final push to pass S. 2992 and S. 2710 at AntitrustSummer.com.
If you’ve been on the internet for a while, you’ve felt it: powerful tech companies have gained way too much control over our lives. Facebook, Google, Apple, and Amazon drown us in ads, algorithmically amplify hate and extremism, copy and kill their competitors, and limit free speech. But this isn’t our destiny: the internet is capable of so much more. Big Tech monopolists get away with harming us and our democracy simply because they can.
At Fight for the Future, we have kept an eye out for real solutions to these monopoly abuses. Our analysis led us to the American Innovation and Choice Online Act (AICOA) and the Open App Markets Act (OAMA), two powerful antitrust bills that will prevent a few companies from deciding our future.
We spend a lot of time beating back misguided or poorly drafted tech bills, like the EARN IT Act and SOPA/PIPA. Our legislative expectations, generally, are low. But AICOA and OAMA are good bills. They go beyond harm reduction: they would create structural changes that put us on a path toward a future free from Big Tech domination, where we have real choices for online platforms that fit our needs. (For more on why these bills pass muster, see this post by Fight’s co-founder, Holmes Wilson.)
This and next week are do-or-die for the most significant antitrust reforms in a generation. AICOA and OAMA are bipartisan. We believe that if they hit the floor, they will pass — overwhelmingly. Tech lobbyists know this, so they’re pulling out all the stops to spook Senate Democrats and delay the vote. If we can make enough noise to break through the lobbyist facade, we can get these bills to the floor in the next few weeks, and we will win.
As internet activism veterans, we know that the biggest wins rely on emergent factors that are sometimes out of our control. We can say with certainty that this, right now, is the movement moment we’ve been waiting for.
Here’s why everyone on our team is putting life on hold to fight for these bills, and why we think you should join us.
- The window for action has opened and it will close just as fast. This is the right time, and potentially the final time, for Congress to take real action on Big Tech. AICOA and OAMA have strong bipartisan support. If they get to the floor, we are almost assured they will pass. Now is THE moment because Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has indicated he will put AICOA up for a vote the week of June 20th. These few weeks may be all we have, because Congress’s August recess is coming up fast and tech lobbyists are fighting dirty to run out the clock.
- Our opponents are more scared than they’ve ever been. Big Tech lobbyists have been pulling out all the stops. They’ve spent record amounts in lobbying and bogus ads — and their lines are becoming more and more ridiculous. They are even making wildly embarrassing mistakes: Amazon forwarded a particularly odious strategy document speaking for communities of color to a journalist. We can smell their fear, and we take it as a good sign. Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Google are in disarray.
- This is worth fighting for. Opponents of Big Tech antitrust legislation (and these are generally Google/Facebook/Apple/Amazon operatives) say that we ought to concern ourselves with other things. We are concerned with many things. But using other issues as smokescreens is an insult to the moment. These bills protect people’s right to choose what software they run on devices they own, and will make it so we have actual choices for online services that respect our privacy and basic rights. We believe in these bills. More than one hundred organizations and businesses and thousands of individuals believe in them too. We believe that it’s worth dedicating your time to an almost sure-shot at reshaping our future.
When you have a moment like this, you don’t waste it. At Fight, we canceled a team retreat we’d been planning for months to go all in on antitrust. We’re crowdfunding billboards to add visible pressure to Democratic holdouts. We’re engaging with our list and funneling hundreds of calls to legislators. We’re getting press spots, connecting with artists, and even getting back on TikTok.
It’s time to amplify our power and fight to win. If you run an organization, sign on to AntitrustSummer.com as an endorser and tweet out your support for S. 2992 and S. 2710. If you’re a small tech company or business, sign on and talk to your customers about how these bills will help your product. If you’re an individual — especially in NH, CO, CA, and HI — write and call your senators using our tool.
Our community is principled, savvy, and technologically adept. This Antitrust Summer, we can beat out Big Tech’s lobbyist machine and put the power back in the hands of users.
The Team at ❤️ Fight