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A Republican House antitrust committee member said he won’t take money from Facebook, Google, or Amazon amid increasing big tech scrutiny


Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Colorado Rep. Ken Buck, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

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Republican Rep. Ken Buck, who sits on the House subcommittee on antitrust, commercial, and administrative law, has said that he won’t take further donations from Facebook, Google, and Amazon amid increasing big tech scrutiny.

“As the lead Republican on the antitrust subcommittee working to hold Big Tech accountable for their anticompetitive and monopolistic behavior, I cannot continue to accept campaign donations from Facebook, Google, or Amazon,” Buck told Axios Wednesday.

His statement came as big tech faces increasing scrutiny from US lawmakers and regulators.

In October, House Democrats dropped a 449-page report following a year-long antitrust investigation, saying Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google have monopoly power that gives them unfair market advantages.

Social-media platforms have also come under fire during both the pandemic and the 2020 election after their sites were used to spread misleading information. The leaders of Google, Facebook, and Twitter are testifying before Congress on Thursday about how they have tried to combat the spread of misinformation.

Buck has received donations from big tech in the past.

His campaign group, Buck for Colorado, received $2,500 from Google’s Political Action Committee (PAC) in July 2019, and a further $2,500 in January 2020, per records from the Federal Election Commission. It also received $2,500 from Amazon’s PAC in March 2020. In January, both companies said they would pause all PAC contributions to Republican members of Congress who voted against certifying President Joe Biden’s electoral victory.

He has never received donations from Facebook, Axios reported. FEC records show that he also did not receive any donations from Apple or Twitter’s PACs in the 2019/20 election cycle, but that he did receive $3,000 from Microsoft.

In January, Buck criticized big tech for severing ties with right-wing social-media site Parler.

Parler was banned from the app stores run by Apple and Google after its users cheered on the protestors or called for more violence during the January Capitol insurrection.

On the site, which was later booted by Amazon, Buck said that Congress needed to take action against Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Apple.

“Big Tech has abused its monopolistic power and has engaged in censorship,” he wrote. 

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