Techdirt Podcast Episode 288: Rep. Zoe Lofgren Sees Problems On Every Page Of These Antitrust Bills

from the let's-dig-in dept

We’ve been talking a lot about the huge effort in Congress to pass new antitrust laws targeting big tech companies, and all the issues these proposals have. This week, we’ve got an insider perspective on just what’s going on with antitrust in the House: Rep. Zoe Lofgren, who called out many of the deficiencies in the bills during last week’s marathon markup session, joins us for a discussion all about the many, many problems in all five proposed antitrust bills.

Follow the Techdirt Podcast on Soundcloud, subscribe via Apple Podcasts, or grab the RSS feed. You can also keep up with all the latest episodes right here on Techdirt.

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Comments on “Techdirt Podcast Episode 288: Rep. Zoe Lofgren Sees Problems On Every Page Of These Antitrust Bills”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

With how keen the commentariat of TD is to deem all politicians (no matter party or affiliation) as greedy fat cats who want to keep their donors happy and the money flowing, I’d expected that y’all would have balked at how Zoe Lofgren has taken money from Facebook and Google and then goes on this podcast to say that laws that affect Facebook & Google’s are bad.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Those antitrust bills will affect more than Facebook and Google⁠—and they’ll also affect the next service that becomes as big as Facebook or Google. If you can’t prove she was bribed to say those bills need a rewrite or three, you’re fucked in re: this argument. Go have a conversation with ol’ Brainy Smurf; I’m sure he’d appreciate your brand of baseless bullshit.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

If this was any other politician arguing any other point or doing anything else, you and the rest of the Techdirt peanut gallery would just be calling them a greedy fat-cat doing the bidding of their donors. Lord knows y’all make it a hobby to where it’s quite frankly embarrassing.

But suddenly you ask “Prove that this money was used to cause this politician to say exactly this” like y’all don’t say that this or that politician just wants money, or is doing what their donors are paying them to do without evidence on the regular? Some real hilarious double standards here.

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Samuel Abram (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

While I’m glad you were able to back up your assertions with facts, she also gets campaign contributions from SEIU, and Mike Masnick–as well as all these Silicon Valley companies–is anti-union. Don’t think she just has only Big Tech’s interests at heart.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

Looking just at her top 100 donors over the course of the last 10 years, what the various unions have given her pales in comparison to how much cash Big Tech has been throwing her way. Big Tech pays her more, and Big Tech is centralized in and around her Congressional district, so of course she wants to keep her precious donors happy or else they’ll get someone who will.

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Samuel Abram (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

From your very link:

SEIU: total $15,150
Facebook: total $15,905

That’s more or less the same amount.

Alphabet: total $34,412
Stanford: $32,902

That’s more or less the same amount.

SEIU paying $755 less than Facebook and Stanford paying $1510 less than Google is not exactly "paling" in comparison.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5

It’s more about perceived hypocrisy and a disingenuous feeling of the arguments provided by those accused of taking “donation” bribes. While Lofgren’s arguments might be bullshit in terms of where they’re coming from, the arguments themselves are sound enough that any possible financial motive she may have for making the arguments doesn’t make them any less sound. The people I usually see accused of making “bribed” arguments don’t often put forth arguments that hold water.

Or, to put it as The Onion might (and Clickhole did): Heartbreaking: The Worst Person You Know Just Made A Great Point

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Those antitrust bills will affect more than Facebook and Google⁠—and they’ll also affect the next service that becomes as big as Facebook or Google.

Oh that’s positively adorable, Sage Freehaven; you actually think that other companies in the future should be allowed to get as big as Facebook and Google.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3

I didn’t say I wanted them to get that big. If anything, I’m on the side of a “smaller” Internet⁠—smaller communities, services, smaller amounts of assholes clogging up everyone’s timelines and imageboards and such. But I’m aware that the world doesn’t work that way; there’s a chance the “next Facebook” could become as big as Facebook someday. Before that happens, I’d like to see the government find a way to rein in the power wielded by the current leaders of “Big Tech”. But if these bills have problems that will end up fucking over smaller companies as well as the big ones, why that argument is being put forth matters slightly less to me than the argument itself.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Seeing the problems is no good unless others can see them or be showed them as well. Too many of those in the same political position as her are so much more interested in doing what someone/something else has paid them to do, or to make a name for themselves or just to make a noise in the house or any combination rather than doing what’s right, what’s helpful! When laws can ve introduced, can be changed, can be bought just because a particular entity doesn’t like what someone/something is doing, it speaks volumes about that entity but speaks even more about what use the law and the lawmakers really are. It shows that democracy is dead and buried and things are back in the days and the ways of the side with the most money always gonna get their way!!

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Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

If you listened to the actual podcast, she talked about a variety of other approaches that would limit Facebook and Google and why those are better approaches. She notes that both companies are very much against her privacy bill, and suggests some other ways of limiting the power of those companies.

She notes why these bills in particular might cause more harm to competition than help.

But you knew that. You’re just trying to cast FUD because you don’t want to deal with the facts.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

"I mean “donated” to her and she’s railing against antitrust bills that would affect Facebook & Google’s bottom lines?"

Sounds like a good reason to scrutinize her assertions. Please. Feel free to investigate where she’s lying and how she presents an inaccurate picture.

It should be easy, given that unless she is lying the most those donations have done is to make her bring up a factual issue.

But "facts" aren’t really palatable to people who just know that Big Tech is all bad and probably responsible for those Jewish Space Lasers torching california, amirite?

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