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.

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Filed Under: antitrust, competition, podcast, policy, zoe lofgren


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  1. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Jun 2021 @ 2:03pm

    Hmm…. District 19 of California, the seat of Silicon Valley… are you sure the title shouldn’t be “Rep. Zoe Lofgren Sees Problems On Every Page Of These Antitrust Bills (Because That’s Why Silicon Valley Bribes Her)”?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Jun 2021 @ 2:33pm

    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!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Jun 2021 @ 2:38pm

    Re:

    More interested in doing what someone/something else has paid them to do

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

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 30 Jun 2021 @ 2:56pm

    Prove she was bribed to say what she said. We’ll wait.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Jun 2021 @ 3:04pm

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 30 Jun 2021 @ 3:34pm

    Speaking from experience I see

    Now now, just because you couldn't help but sell yourself to the highest bidder doesn't mean everyone else acts the same, not everyone can have standards as low as yours.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 30 Jun 2021 @ 3:47pm

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 30 Jun 2021 @ 3:48pm

    “Every accusation, a confession”, indeed.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Jun 2021 @ 3:53pm

    Re: Speaking from experience I see

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Jun 2021 @ 3:58pm

    Re:

    Open Secrets shows that she’s gotten quite the bunch of cash from Facebook, Google, and more over the years.. Or does this not count because she’s taking the money and then saying something that you take her side on?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 30 Jun 2021 @ 3:59pm

    Can you prove that those donations are the root of her belief in the issues with those antitrust bills? Because I don’t think you can, but you’re welcome to give it the ol’ sixth-grade summer school try.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 30 Jun 2021 @ 4:00pm

    It doesn’t count if you can’t prove that money is the biggest reason, or even the only reason, she’s saying what she’s saying⁠—which I’m betting you can’t.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. icon
    Samuel Abram (profile), 30 Jun 2021 @ 4:24pm

    Re: 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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. icon
    Samuel Abram (profile), 30 Jun 2021 @ 4:26pm

    Re: Re: Speaking from experience I see

    She's also been taking money from the SEIU. Is ehe also in favor of unionizing those companies?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. icon
    Samuel Abram (profile), 30 Jun 2021 @ 4:26pm

    Re: Re:

    Okay, now you're just spamming.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16. identicon
    Rocky, 30 Jun 2021 @ 4:27pm

    Re: Re:

    You would have a point if you can debunk her claims. I'll wait...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Jun 2021 @ 4:37pm

    Re: Re:

    You didn’t answer the question.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Jun 2021 @ 4:38pm

    Re: Re:

    Donations aren’t bribes.

    Try again bro

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Jun 2021 @ 4:39pm

    Re: Re: Speaking from experience I see

    Repeating the same point over and over again don’t make it true.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Jun 2021 @ 4:39pm

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Jun 2021 @ 4:50pm

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Jun 2021 @ 5:12pm

    Re: Re: 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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 30 Jun 2021 @ 5:19pm

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Jun 2021 @ 5:22pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    According to a not-insignificant amount of commenters on Techdirt over the years, they in fact are, but apparently only when politicians do something that the commenters don't like.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 30 Jun 2021 @ 5:39pm

    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

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26. icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), 30 Jun 2021 @ 5:48pm

    Re: Re:

    then goes on this podcast to say that laws that affect Facebook & Google’s are bad.

    That's not what she said. You should maybe listen to the fucking podcast before lying.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27. icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), 30 Jun 2021 @ 5:51pm

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Jun 2021 @ 6:42pm

    Re: I heard you liked to wait while you are waitinf

    I’ll await the proof of that while we await your proof of her being bribed.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29. icon
    Samuel Abram (profile), 1 Jul 2021 @ 6:44am

    Re: Re: Re: 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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30. icon
    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 2 Jul 2021 @ 2:06am

    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?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31. icon
    fairuse (profile), 17 Jul 2021 @ 6:08pm

    What is wrong with people. Campaigns are fueled by money. The person uses money to get elected. That is the system.

    Those bills are garbage, I read them. If you shoot the messenger then you are not listening.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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