Coalition Letter: "Big Tech" Investigation in Texas Harms Consumers and Taxpayers

Coalition Letter: Texans Harmed by Misguided Lawsuit Against "Big Tech"NTU Poll: Texans Oppose Wastefull Spending on Anti-Tech BattlesPolicy Brief: Antitrust Battles Against "Big Tech" Harm Consumer Welfare

In a coalition letter today, NTU has joined with groups representing taxpayers in Texas and across the country to oppose the attempt from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton to appropriate tens of millions of dollars for an ill-advised antitrust battle against "big tech." As Texans struggle through both the coronavirus pandemic and the aftermath of an unprecedented winter storm, the last thing that elected officials need to be doing is flushing taxpayer money down the drain for frivolous lawsuits that serve neither taxpayers nor consumers.

NTU is joined by the Lone Star Policy Institute, the Center for Freedom and Prosperity, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, NetChoice, and the Taxpayers Protection Alliance in this effort. In the coalition letter, we write that it is particularly concerning that Attorney General Paxton is attempting to spend tens of millions of taxpayer dollars on outside counsel for his wasteful effort:

We are particularly concerned by reports that although the lawsuit was supposed to have been handled internally, without the need for expensive outside legal counsel, those resources are no longer available. As legislators are challenged to decide which key state programs will be cut or reduced to comply with Texas’ balanced budget requirement, it is unacceptable that a request to fund $43 million in outside attorneys fees would even be considered... Especially during difficult times such as these, it is critical that taxpayers and consumers are at the center of antitrust enforcement.

Read the full letter here.

NTU has worked on antitrust issues for decades, and has consistently found that a light-touch approach to antitrust is the best outcome for both consumers and taxpayers. What's more, voters have consistently opposed this exact kind of wasteful spending: in polling conducted in Texas by NTU last year, antitrust enforcement and "big tech" investigations ranked at or near the bottom of the priority list that Texans wanted to see their Attorney General tackle.

Today's coalition letter was sent to Governor Greg Abbott, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, and Texas Speaker Dade Phelan. The coalition hopes that elected representatives will understand that spending tens of millions of Texans' hard-earned money on these kinds of frivolous efforts must be opposed.

To speak with a member of this coalition, please contact Kevin Glass, NTU's Vice President of Communications, at 703-299-8670 or at kglass@ntu.org