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32 advocacy groups urge Biden to reject Big Tech’s influence

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Thirty-two groups including ones focused on antitrust, consumer advocacy and progressive issues sent a letter to President-elect Joe Biden on Monday urging him to reject the influence of Big Tech companies on his administration.

Earlier this month, Reuters reported that more executives from technology companies than outspoken tech critics were named to Biden’s transition team, offering clues on who will ultimately influence his administration’s thinking.

The letter calls for excluding from his administration executives, lobbyists and consultants working for or with companies such as Facebook, Amazon, Alphabet-owned Google, Apple and Microsoft. The groups argue the companies’ business practices hurt consumers and the American economy.

The letter was signed by groups focusing on consumer rights, antitrust reform, labor and progressive causes. Signatories include Public Citizen, American Economic Liberties Project, Open Markets Institute, Progressive Democrats of America, the Revolving Door Project and Athena.

“We believe that your administration must confront the threats posed by the monopolistic Big Tech companies…however, we can only bring these companies to account if you do not rely on affiliates of these very companies to make up your government,” the letter said.

The companies did not immediately respond to requests for comment. All companies, except Microsoft, are facing federal and state investigations against their business practices.

“We believe that eliminating the decades-old revolving door between Silicon Valley and your administration will only help your cause,” the letter added.

In October, Reuters reported Amazon and Big Tech were cozying up to the Biden administration with cash and connections.

(Reporting by Nandita Bose in Washington; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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SourceReuters

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