Antitrust & Competition Policy Blog

Editor: D. Daniel Sokol
University of Florida
Levin College of Law

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

A Conservative Guide to the Antitrust and Big Tech Debate

A Conservative Guide to the Antitrust and Big Tech Debate

Daren Bakst and Gabriella Beaumont-Smith, “A Conservative Guide to the Antitrust and Big Tech Debate,” Heritage Foundation Backgrounder No. 3563, December 1, 2020.

Daren Bakst

The Heritage Foundation

Gabriella Beaumont-Smith

The Heritage Foundation


Policymakers across the political spectrum are debating the virtue of the application of antitrust law to the technology sector. Some are proposing radical reshaping of federal antitrust law that would expand federal control over the economy. Others appear to want to use antitrust as a way to punish Big Tech. Conservatives are right to be concerned about how dominant Internet platforms stifle certain conservative speech, but antitrust is the wrong tool for addressing these concerns.

Instead, conservatives should be fighting far-left efforts to make it easier for the federal government to use antitrust law to reshape and control the technology sector and other sectors of the economy. Conservatives should also fight attacks on the consumer welfare standard in antitrust law, one of the most important developments in decades that promotes free enterprise and economic freedom. Policymakers should recognize that modern antitrust law is perfectly capable of addressing genuine anticompetitive behavior.

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