Antitrust starts, stops on Capitol Hill

The House Judiciary Committee in June advanced six bills aimed at revamping antitrust laws to target the biggest tech companies in the U.S.

But while they had bipartisan support, the bills faced roadblocks on both sides of the aisle. Notably, members of the California delegation — even typically solid progressive votes — pushed back against the bills, which largely target companies based in the Golden State.

In the upper chamber, senators put forward some similar proposals to target the market power of tech giants, but despite numerous hearings in both chambers the proposals have largely stalled.

Meanwhile: The Biden administration signaled it would take a tough stance on antitrust through nominations to key regulatory and advisory positions.

President Biden nominated Lina Khan as chairwoman of the Federal Trade Commission, nominated Jonathan Kanter to head the Department of Justice’s antitrust division and appointed Tim Wu to a White House advisory role. All three picks were backed by the progressive movement to break up tech giants.