Nancy Pelosi is standing in the way of Big Tech reform, insiders say

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As a bipartisan radical of Washington lawmakers mounts a conflict to rein successful Big Tech, immoderate insiders accidental it faces a formidable and perchance astonishing obstacle: Nancy Pelosi.

The 81-year-old Democratic House bulk person has made symbolic gestures to defy Silicon Valley specified arsenic refusing to instrumentality calls from Mark Zuckerberg and declaring 2019 that “the epoch of self-regulation is over.”

Nevertheless, insiders say she’s slow-walking legislation, including a alleged “non-discrimination bill” that would enactment a large dent successful tech firms including Google and Amazon. The connection would prohibit the signifier of the companies giving their ain products favorable attraction successful hunt results.

The measure — sponsored by Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) and Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) — was 1 of six that passed the House Judiciary Committee successful June. A nearly-identical companion measure sponsored by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) was introduced past period successful the Senate and is gaining steam. 

Proponents of the measure accidental it would instrumentality connected Big Tech by letting smaller challengers vie connected a level playing field. For example, Amazon would beryllium banned from ranking its Amazon Basics statement supra third-party sellers, portion Google would beryllium banned from integrating its Google maps diagnostic straight into hunt results.

Pelosi, whose San Francisco territory represents the beating bosom of the tech world, is joined to a task capitalist who makes millions trading shares of large tech companies similar Google and Apple. 

Nancy Pelosi and Paul PelosiPaul Pelosi (right) has made millions trading shares of large tech companies.Getty Images

She has said that she broadly supports authorities to rein successful Big Tech but has not publically endorsed the non-discrimination measure or committed to bringing immoderate circumstantial authorities to the floor.

“Pelosi hasn’t been pushing precise hard for those bills,” a Washington, D.C. advisor for a tech elephantine that would beryllium affected by the authorities told The Post, adding that the non-discrimination measure would beryllium “quite serious” for his client.

“I’m definite Pelosi is protecting California workers and companies,” dished a DC Democrat who works connected antitrust. “I deliberation it is analyzable authorities and determination is pushback from the California delegation.”

A salient Republican lobbyist enactment it much bluntly: “Pelosi won’t fto it get to the floor.”

Amazon logoNon-discrimination authorities would artifact Amazon ranking its Amazon Basics statement supra third-party sellers.SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Indeed, immoderate well-placed insiders told The Post they judge Republicans winning backmost the House successful the midterms — a bigger anticipation aft Tuesday’s predetermination victories — could pave the mode for existent tech betterment since it would effect successful her removal.

“That’s not an unreasonable hypothesis,” William Kovacic, a prof astatine George Washington University who was a Republican commissioner astatine the Federal Trade Commission from 2006 to 2011 told The Post. “Not astatine all.”

However, not everyone agrees Pelosi is blocking the bill.

Mike Davis, a erstwhile Grassley staffer and caput of a blimpish anti-Big Tech radical called the Internet Accountability Project, said helium believes that Pelosi volition bring the measure to the floor. 

Amy KlobucharSen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) is pushing a non-discrimination measure successful the Senate.CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

“I’ve heard that if Buck and Cicilline tin get capable Republicans and Democrats connected committee that she’s committed to bringing this up for a vote,” said Davis.

He predicted that 2 to 4 of the six antitrust bills that made it retired of the House Judiciary Committee volition beryllium signed into instrumentality — including the non-discrimination bill. 

“It’s bully authorities for the Democrats,” helium said. “Democrats are going to request to beryllium capable to constituent to a bipartisan quality to govern this adjacent predetermination due to the fact that they’re going to get slammed if they can’t constituent to something.” 

He added that bills designed to summation contention successful the tech sphere could play good successful Pelosi’s territory since smaller tech firms “get screwed implicit by Amazon, Google, Facebook and Apple.” 

Ken BuckRep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) introduced a non-discrimination measure successful the House.Getty Images

Looming implicit the conflict is the anticipation that the GOP retakes the House successful 2022’s midterm elections and replaces Pelosi with number person Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who has signaled enactment for anti-Big Tech measures but, similar Pelosi, has not committed to supporting the anti-discrimination measure successful particular.

Some insiders task that a GOP takeover of the location would termination the bill, adjacent if it were to walk the Senate. They constituent to representatives similar Jim Jordan, an Ohio Republican who’s a ranking subordinate of the House Judiciary committee who has powerfully opposed the bill.

Yet the salient Republican lobbyist is much optimistic.

“I spot reasonably beardown momentum adjacent outpouring to walk the Senate bill,” the lobbyist said, noting determination are already 5 Republican Senate co-sponsors. “The House volition hold until aft the midterms.”

Google logoGoogle would beryllium banned from giving its ain products penchant successful hunt results nether the projected legislation.SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The Big Tech advisor noted, however, that Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer has been a large defender of Google successful the past. He’s who would determine if and erstwhile to bring the Klobuchar measure to the floor. The measure volition instrumentality 60 votes to pass, a precocious hurdle. 

Pelosi, McCarthy and Schumer are each staying mum astir the issue. All 3 did not instrumentality requests for remark from The Post.