Why Republican Ken Buck Believes in Antitrust and Doesn’t Believe in the ‘Big Lie’

Representative Ken Buck has joined forces with the Democratic congressman David Cicilline and others to push through a package of antitrust legislation that could prove damning to companies like Amazon, Apple, Google and Facebook. “As a conservative, I don’t think big is bad. I think big is great,” he says. But at the same time, he is quick to clarify that Silicon Valley isn’t the land of “benevolent monopolists” and that leaders like Jeff Bezos need to be more transparent about their business practices.

In this conversation, Buck discusses how he’s moved further than his party on issues of antitrust, and why he — after initially backing the Texas lawsuit seeking to overturn 2020 election results in four battleground states — eventually stepped out against Donald Trump’s “Big Lie” of a stolen election.

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Kara Swisher asks Buck which antitrust bills will survive big tech anti-antitrust lobbying, and whether regulatory agencies like the F.T.C. will actually have the teeth to enforce the proposed laws. They also dig into the Facebook whistle-blower’s allegations, as well as conservative claims of social media censorship. And Swisher presses Buck on what he calls the “vigorous debate” within the Republican Party — which Buck says is happening “behind closed doors.”

(A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

Why Republican Ken Buck Believes in Antitrust and Doesn’t Believe in the ‘Big Lie’ 1
Rachel Woolf for The New York Times

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“Sway” is produced by Nayeema Raza, Blakeney Schick, Matt Kwong, Daphne Chen and Caitlin O’Keefe, and edited by Nayeema Raza; fact-checking by Kate Sinclair and Kristin Lin; music and sound design by Isaac Jones; mixing by Carole Sabouraud and Sonia Herrero; audience strategy by Shannon Busta. Special thanks to Mahima Chablani.