The American Consumer Institute hosted an event on July 26 to discuss the consumer implications for the proposed antitrust reforms, specifically the American Innovation and Choice Online Act and Platform Competition and Opportunity Act.

In a keynote to the audience, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., called out the misguided antitrust proposals from Klobuchar and House Judiciary Committee members. “I wouldn’t do any antitrust, but if you’re going to do antitrust, it makes no sense that the consumer wouldn’t be the person to look at,” Paul told the audience on Tuesday. 

Experts on the panel discussion were very critical of the lawmakers’ efforts to crack down on Big Tech, saying legislative efforts will most likely negatively impact consumers and innovation.

Krisztina Pusok, director of policy and research at the American Consumer Institute, criticized the legislative proposals saying that the bills do not incorporate consumer welfare as a standard and they are not designed to protect consumers.

Aurelien Portuese, director of the Schumpeter Project on Competition at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, said these bills “completely ignore the welfare of consumers and are designed to protect less efficient competitors.”

Americans are now concerned with inflation, the economy and jobs than supposed Big Tech dominance, said James Czerniawski, senior policy analyst in technology and innovation at Americans for Prosperity.

It’s a “cookie cutter” approach to antitrust law that targets specific companies because of their size, while neglecting current antitrust enforcement principles, said Malena Dailey, technology policy analyst at the Progressive Policy Institute.