Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) joined Senator Mike Lee to introduce the Advertising Middlemen Endangering Rigorous Internet Competition Accountability (AMERICA) Act.
The legislation looks to “restore and protect competition in digital advertising by eliminating conflicts of interest that have allowed the leading platforms in the market to manipulate ad auctions and impose monopoly rents on a broad swath of the American economy.”
Republicans in both chambers, such as Sen. Rubio, have been critical of major tech companies and their possible overreach when it comes to collecting data of Americans and their users.
“Digital advertising is the lifeblood of the internet economy,” said Sen. Mike Lee. “It supports most of the free content and services Americans have come to rely upon, including essential local journalism, and it allows businesses of every size to reach their customers quickly and efficiently. Unfortunately, online advertising is also suffering under the thumb of trillion-dollar tech companies.”
He would also state that “Companies like Google and Facebook have been able to exploit their unprecedented troves of detailed user data to obtain vice grip-like control over digital advertising, amassing power on every side of the market and using it to block competition and take advantage of their customers. The conflicts of interest are so glaring that one Google employee described Google’s ad business as being like ‘if Goldman or Citibank owned the NYSE.’”
Sen. Rubio mentioned that “Small businesses rely on digital advertising, but industry consolidation and conflicts of interest are tilting the scales against them. It is time to restore competition, transparency, and fairness into the digital ad space.”
The bill is a bipartisan effort, however, which includes the support of lawmakers such as Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), and Josh Hawley (R-MO) and others.
“For too long, Google and Facebook have dominated the digital advertising marketplace at the expense of advertisers, publishers, and consumers. It is past time for a transparent ad technology industry where the best interests of customers are prioritized and companies of all sizes are able to compete. This legislation will put rules in place to do just that, restoring and protecting competition in digital advertising to create a more even playing field that will promote fairness and innovation moving forward,” stated Sen. Klobuchar.
Sen. Lee introduced similar legislation during the Democrat-controlled 117th Congress.