- The Washington Times - Monday, June 21, 2021

Rep. Jim Jordan, Ohio Republican, wrote to Microsoft on Monday about its alleged bias against conservatives and questioned Democratic lawmakers’ decision to focus their antitrust efforts on other large companies.

“Big Tech, including Microsoft, Inc., is out to get conservatives,” wrote Mr. Jordan to Microsoft president Brad Smith. “Despite Microsoft’s size and market dominance, House Democrats curiously did not significantly examine Microsoft’s conduct during their investigation of competition in digital markets. Democrats also seem to have excluded Microsoft from scrutiny in their large package of bills to radically rewrite American antitrust law. We write to request more information about these matters.”

The House Judiciary Committee’s Democratic leadership published a 450-page report last year calling for the separation of dominant platforms after investigating Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google. Earlier this month the bipartisan leadership of the committee’s antitrust panel — Reps. David Cicilline, Rhode Island Democrat, and Ken Buck, Colorado Republican — championed a slew of new antitrust proposals. 

Mr. Jordan, the judiciary committee’s top-ranking Republican, wrote that Microsoft’s current market valuation nears $2 trillion and that the company has acquired more than 200 companies in the past three decades while avoiding Democrats’ antitrust scrutiny. Mr. Cicilline’s office did not answer a request for comment.

The government’s reliance upon Microsoft for various services differs from other companies that federal lawmakers have scrutinized. For example, an unknown portion of the $650 million from President Biden’s COVID-19 relief package is expected to go to Microsoft. 

The relief package allocated $650 million to the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), which previously declined to say how much of taxpayers’ cash would be paid to Microsoft, but the ultimate expenditure could reach $150 million according to Reuters.

CISA previously said it intended to use the $650 funding to improve cloud security, increase the visibility that federal agencies have into federal civilian cloud environments, and potentially upgrading licenses from existing vendors. Microsoft charges more for upgrading licenses. 

Mr. Jordan also questioned Microsoft’s use of its social networking platform LinkedIn to allegedly censor conservative speech. He wrote that LinkedIn censored a post by an opinion editor at The Washington Times involving “Democrats’ abuse of executive orders” and that the platform removed a post linking to a study challenging conventional wisdom on climate change. 

Microsoft did not respond to a request for comment on Mr. Jordan’s letter.

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