New York Deputy Senate Majority Leader Mike Gianaris is making a push this month for congressional lawmakers to approve a measure meant to scale back corporate power in the tech sector.
Gianaris, a Queens Democrat, sent a letter to top lawmakers in Congress urging them to take up legislation that would address the rise of tech companies in the social media and e-commerce sectors.
"Our nation’s antitrust laws have not kept pace with the ever-changing nature of our economy – the same laws used to break up Gilded Age behemoths are no match for modern e-commerce or social networking platforms," Gianaris wrote in the letter sent this month. "The time has come for meaningful reform and this legislation is a critical tool to do just that."
His push for the measure comes after a similar measure at the state level was not taken up by the Legislature this year.
The state version of the proposal is meant to strengthen and expand existing anti-trust laws already on the books in New York. Anti-competitive acts by a single company seen as harming competition would be covered, expanding from multiple firms that act together. It would also create a more expanded definition for "dominance" in the marketplace as a threshold for when competition is hindered by a company.
Business groups in the state had opposed the legislation, arguing it would have harmed economic growth.
In his letter, Gianaris wrote Congress would send a message by approving its version.
"While New York can, and often does, lead the way on economic policy measures, we need Congress to act," he wrote. "By passing the American Choice and Innovation Online Act, you have the ability to protect consumers and small businesses from anti-competitive practices and ensure everyone can compete fairly in the marketplace."