Progressive Policy Institute (PPI)

From BigTechWiki
Jump to navigationJump to search
  • PPI was funded in part by Facebook, Google, and Amazon. The Washington Examiner noted that Big Tech’s contributions to organizations like PPI were “to defend themselves from public scrutiny and regulation.”[1]
  • Three of PPI’s board members, Bernard McKay, Bill Budinger, and Chris Kelly, were closely aligned with Big Tech. Bernard Kelly was a board member for the Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA) as well as a board member at the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation (ITIF). Board member Bill Budinger founded a major microchip company named Rodel, which built semiconductors and silicon wafers. Board member Chris Kelly was previously Facebook’s Chief Privacy Officer and the platform’s first General Council. Kelly opposed breaking up Big Tech.[2]
  • PPI’s Tech Policy Analyst was previously a policy analyst for NetChoice. PPI’s Malena Dailey worked at NetChoice before moving to PPI. Her focus at NetChoice was on state and federal legislation impacting Big Tech as well as policies related to antitrust and content moderation.[3]
  • PPI had partnered with TechNet on a research report, commissioned polls on Big Tech in battleground districts and produced research used by fellow pro-Big Tech groups. PPI partnered with TechNet on a study that highlighted 25 up-and-coming tech hubs across the country. The study highlights public policies that created the conditions for tech startups to succeed in growing numbers and more places. PPI commissioned a poll to survey voters in battleground districts on whether they believed Big Tech companies were monopolies with too much power and asked how Congress should respond. NetChoice once used a paper from PPI to defend Google after the platform faced antitrust actions that targeted their ad practices.[4]
  • PPI’s Director of Technology Policy had been a panelist at conferences put on by Big Tech. PPI’s Alex Slapp, Director of Technology Policy, was a panelist at a conference put together by NetChoice that focused on antitrust regulation, whether Big Tech had monopolized their industries and how to “define digital markets.” Slapp was also a panelist at a conference put together by The App Association (sponsored by Apple), which focused on antitrust and competition policies in the app economy.[5]
  • PPI represented Big Tech in Congress, both in public forums and in private briefings. After Amazon, Apple, Google, and Facebook refused to attend a Congressional hearing on an antitrust bill, PPI asked if they could send a representative.[6]
  • PPI praised Big Tech for their contributions to society. PPI released research touting the fact that “most Americans live[d] in states where the tech e-commerce ecosystem [paid] better than manufacturing. PPI claimed Big Tech was “building a new middle class” and believed “information technology had delivered more and unprecedented convenience for consumers, and good paying jobs.”[7]
  • PPI has spotlighted Amazon for being the #1 investor in America two years in a row. PPI ranked Amazon the #1 investor in America in 2020 and 2021. PPI’s Chief Economic Strategist, Michael Mandel, said that Amazon was “leading the way for what corporate investment in America should look like.” He also believed that Amazon was “setting a new national standard for what the wage should be for high school educated workers” which would “force a lot of companies to decide if they want[ed] to invest in their workers.”[8]
  • PPI attacked antitrust laws targeting Big Tech through press releases, blog posts and other research materials. PPI published a blog that criticized Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s plan to break up Big Tech companies. PPI said “Warren’s call to break up America’s tech leaders may go down well with her party’s ‘Democratic Socialist’ faction. PPI also released an e-book that urged against the passage of antitrust laws for Big Tech. PPI argued that antitrust bills targeting Big Tech had “divestiture and draconian regulation.”[9]
  • PPI would single out specific pieces of legislation or committee reports to attack on behalf of Big Tech. PPI attacked the House Judiciary Committee’s tech antitrust report, saying it was “400-plus pages of weak evidence that Big Tech companies actually harm[ed] consumers and reduce[d] innovation in digital markets.” They believed regulation on app stores had a “highly prescriptive view” of what tech platforms “should allow.” PPI opposed the ‘American Innovation And Choice Online Act’, claiming if it passed consumers would be “worse off.”  PPI released research that claimed proved how the ‘American Innovation And Choice Online Act’ “could do irreparable harm” to tech services used and relied on by millions of Americans. They believed the ‘American Innovation And Choice Online Act’ would “result in a huge financial hit” to big tech companies that would lead them to reduce or alter popular services.[10]