Missouri's new conservative US Senator, Josh Hawley, said on Tuesday he is willing to work with Social Democratic representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York on an investigation into the power and policies of major technology companies such as Google and Facebook.
Hawley, a former state prosecutor who toppled Democrat Claire McCaskill in a closed race in November, has long been a fierce investigator of the practices of technology companies.
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During his time as the chief law enforcement official in Missouri, he cited Facebook shortly after the news that at least 50 million Facebook profiles may have been shared with third-party software developers. He also took charge of Google, for allegedly violating the state consumer protection statute, and the technology company Uber.
Hawley, 39, said on Tuesday that he and Ocasio-Cortez, 29, have not yet discussed the cooperation, but left the opportunity open, saying that they are both younger members of their respective cameras and that they grew up with technology rooted in their daily lives, reported the postal mail of San Luis.
Both legislators could find common ground, as Ocasio-Cortez recently criticized large technology corporations for sponsoring a conference in which a panel questioned global climate change.
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But possible cooperation among lawmakers may still draw attention among some in Missouri, who voted for Hawley and McCaskill, viewing it as too progressive for the state.
McCaskill herself said she was "confused as to why it's the thing," referring to Ocasio-Cortez, and called the New Yorker "a shiny new shiny object" that benefited from relentless media coverage.
NetChoice, a trade association that represents e-commerce companies, criticizes the possible bipartisan effort to curb their business practices.
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"Sensible lawmakers must avoid the antitrust charm of weapons for political ends," Carl Szabo, vice president and general counsel of NetChoice, told the newspaper. "The politicization of antitrust laws exchanges a good policy for partisan politics and creates a disastrous precedent."
"Hipster's antitrust competition threatens small businesses that rely on large platforms to find new customers," he added. "If Sen. Hawley and Rep. Ocasio-Cortez want to support small businesses in their country, they should applaud the platforms, not attack them."