The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, representing 1.4 million members nationwide, is urging members of the House Judiciary Committee to support a series of bills to reform the country’s antitrust laws when they are brought to the Committee for mark up this week. The package of antitrust reform bills the Teamsters are supporting include: H.R. 3843, the “Merger Filing Fee Modernization Act of 2021”; H.R. 3460, the “State Antitrust Enforcement Venue Act of 2021”; H.R. 3849, the “Augmenting Compatibility and Competition by Enabling Service Switching Act of 2021”; H.R. 3826, the “Platform Competition and Opportunity Act of 2021”; H.R. 3816, the “American Choice and Innovation Online Act”; and H.R. 3825, the “Ending Platform Monopolies Act.”
In a letter sent to House Judiciary Committee members, Teamsters General President James P. Hoffa stressed how our country’s current antitrust laws are inadequate to deal with increasing corporate power and the unprecedented and unique market power of many big tech firms. Increasing corporate consolidation and power threatens labor rights by reducing competition for labor, depressing wages and working conditions, and making it easier for companies to ignore worker protections. General President Hoffa makes clear that the dominance of huge technology companies in particular has increased pressure on workers, specifically highlighting how Amazon’s anticompetitive practices have destroyed middle class jobs.
“The dominance of huge tech companies puts more and more pressure on workers. For example, in just a short time, Amazon has been able to use profits generated from its dominant position in AWS and retail e-commerce, coupled with anticompetitive practices enabled by market power, to become a dominant firm in the last mile delivery portion of the logistics industry,” Hoffa wrote. “Amazon also abuses its market power in e-commerce to restrict third party sellers’ options of last mile delivery and logistics firms — and in the process it is destroying middle class jobs. These companies should not be able to choose winners and losers in the economy. We need a level playing field for the health of our economy and its small businesses, consumers, and workers.
“The legislation being considered by the Committee this week is an important step to reform our antitrust laws by first focusing on unique issues presented by dominant platform companies. Combined, these six bills will require big tech companies to allow real competition in consumer and labor markets to flourish by avoiding exclusionary conduct, favoritism, elimination of competition, and other market power abuses. We urge you to support these critical reforms,” Hoffa added.