The Honorable Chuck Schumer
United States Senate
322 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
Dear Majority Leader Schumer:
We understand that on July 26th, you were the special guest at a high-dollar fundraising reception in Washington that was held to benefit IMPACT, your Leadership PAC. Respectfully, we ask you to immediately disclose whether Big Tech companies, or their executives, employees, or affiliated advocacy organizations, have made or will be making contributions in connection with this event, and events like it, and what they are asking for in return.
As you know, two important antitrust bills that will rein in the monopoly power of Big Tech companies, including Alphabet (Google), Meta (Facebook), Apple, and Amazon, have passed out of committee with strong bipartisan support but are waiting for your action.
The American Innovation and Choice Online Act (S.2992; “AICO” or “AICOA”) and the Open App Markets Act (S.2710; “OAMA”) are both ready for floor votes, and given their bipartisan support in committee, there is every indication that they will both pass with solid margins. (In fact, Senator Chuck Grassley, the leading Republican co-sponsor of S.2992, recently asserted that there is sufficient Republican support for the legislation to surmount a filibuster.) These bills will provide new tools for the Department of Justice to rein in the disproportionate and dangerous market power of Big Tech, and they are urgently needed. But you have not yet brought them to the floor.
Big Tech companies have invested heavily in delaying, watering down, and defeating these bills, and with that in mind, contributions by these companies or their affiliates create the appearance of conflict of interest, and the public has a right to know your professional and personal relationships with them, including any contributions you have solicited on behalf of the PACs, campaign committees, and advocacy organizations you support.
Spikes in campaign contributions, as well as lobbying spending, make clear that tech executives and their lobbyists are using every lever possible to influence Senators and stymie legislation that would rein them in. Indeed, your Senate campaign is the leading recipient of political donations from Apple employees this year, and you have received over $170,000 in donations from Google employees this cycle. With your close coordination, Senate Majority PAC has also taken on many large contributions from Big Tech, including from former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, and its affiliated dark money (c)4 organization Majority Forward likely has as well.
With Big Tech exerting more comprehensive control over Americans’ lives today than at any point in history, and tech companies spending heavily to maintain that control, this is a perilous moment. You have an opportunity to change things for the better, by bringing to a vote these two bills, which both garner strong bipartisan support among your Senate colleagues as well as the American public at large. But your continued association with technology executives is worrying. We urge you to take a concrete step toward putting those worries to rest through full transparency of your recent July 26 event for IMPACT PAC, and by bringing both S.2992 and S.2710 to the floor for a vote.
Action Center on Race and the Economy
American Economic Liberties Project
Center for Popular Democracy
Fight Corporate Monopolies
Fight for the Future
Institute for Local Self-Reliance
Main Street Alliance
New York Communities for Change
Social Security Works