On Friday, ILSR’s Stacy Mitchell joined members of Congress and other policy experts for a briefing on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., “The Impact of Dominant Internet Platforms on Competition, Innovation, and Democracy.” The briefing, which was held by the House Judiciary Committee Democrats and the Congressional Progressive Caucus, comes as there is increasing concern about the size and power of large tech companies, including Amazon.
Stacy spoke on the second panel at the briefing, along with Rep. Keith Ellison, Lina Khan of Open Markets Institute, and Chris Lewis of Public Knowledge (who also serves on ILSR’s Board of Directors). “We’re moving into a future in which we’re asking businesses to operate in something that is not a market, but a private arena controlled by Amazon,” Stacy noted on the panel. “There’s this pervasive sense that the future is no longer ours to choose, and that is toxic to democracy.”
Another concern raised at the briefing is the great political power that comes with monopolies’ economic power. “The bottom line is we have a crisis in democracy,” Rep. Keith Ellison said.
Earlier in the day, the first panel featured Rep. Zoe Lofgren, Allen Grunes of the Konkurrenz Group, Frank Pasquale of University of Maryland and Yale Law School’s Information Society Project, and Tim Wu of Columbia Law School. The event also featured remarks from Rep. David Cicilline.
For more analysis of Amazon’s monopoly power, see our Nov. 2016 report, “Amazon’s Stranglehold.”
See more photos of the event: