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Rep. Zoe Lofgren has traditionally been seen as an ally of tech. Photo: Jacquelyn Martin / AP

A Democrat interested in her party's top spot on a key committee said Friday that Congress should examine how large companies' data holdings relate to competition among businesses.

Why it matters:

  • If that came to fruition, it would have big implications for Google, Facebook and Amazon, which critics say have tremendous market power thanks to all the data they hold on their users.
  • Rep. Zoe Lofgren of California — a tech industry ally — is interested in running for the top Democratic seat on the House Judiciary Committee, which Rep. John Conyers occupied before he stepped aside during a pending investigation into allegations of sexual harassment.
  • Her comments are a sign of the burgeoning Democratic interest in confronting the dominance of major web platforms. Lofgren has faced pressure over her support for large tech companies from the left as the race to replace Conyers gets going.

The details: "Competition is good for innovation, it's good for the economy, and that's the goal." said Lofgren after her appearance at a briefing on web platforms held for congressional staff, when asked about how an examination of antitrust policy could apply to Silicon Valley.

  • "I think there are other elements of competition policy that may also matter, in terms of who owns your data and other things," she said at the panel. "This is going to be a multi-year process no doubt."

Yes, but: Even if she were to snag Conyers' seat, the top member of a minority party only has so much power on a committee. "The ranking member as you know doesn't set the agenda, the Republicans do," said Lofgren.

The post has been updated to reflect that Rep. John Conyers has already stepped aside as the Judiciary Committee's ranking member during a pending investigation.

Go deeper

35 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Group of 20 bipartisan senators back $1.2T infrastructure framework

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) arrives for a meeting with Senate Budget Committee Democrats in the Mansfield Room at the U.S. Capitol building on June 16, 2021 in Washington, DC. The Majority Leader and Democrats on the Senate Budget Committee are meeting to discuss how to move forward with the Biden Administrations budget proposal. Photo: Samuel Corum / Getty Images

A group of 10 Democratic and 10 Republican senators (the "G20") tasked with negotiating an infrastructure deal with the White House has released a statement in support of a $1.2 trillion framework.

Why it matters: Details regarding the plan have not yet been released, but getting 10 Republicans on board means the bill could get the necessary 60 votes to pass.

DOJ drops criminal probe, civil lawsuit against John Bolton over Trump book

Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

The Justice Department has closed its criminal investigation into whether President Trump's former national security adviser John Bolton disclosed classified information with his tell-all memoir, “The Room Where it Happened," according to a source with direct knowledge.

Why it matters: The move comes a year after the Trump administration tried to silence Bolton by suing him in federal court, claiming he breached his contract by failing to complete a pre-publication review for classified information. Prosecutors indicated they had reached a settlement with Bolton to drop the lawsuit in a filing on Wednesday.

Fed may raise rates sooner, as inflation is higher than expected

Feb chair Jerome Powell. Photo: Susan Walsh/Getty Images

The Federal Reserve kept rates unchanged at its latest policy meeting, but a shift in sentiment emerged as to how soon it should begin raising rates.

Why it matters: The Fed's rock-bottom rates policy and monthly asset purchases helped the U.S. markets avoid a meltdown during the COVID-19 crisis last year. But as the economy recovers, a chorus is growing for the Fed to at least consider a timeline for pulling back its support before things get overheated.