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Big Tech Is Spending Lots of Money to Make Antitrust Reform Seem Scary

Ads funded by tech groups make wide-ranging claims about the dire consequences of proposed rules.
Tech groups’ ads show hackers, explosions, and Chinese soldiers.

Tech groups’ ads show hackers, explosions, and Chinese soldiers.

Source: NetChoice via YouTube

In a short video ad posted online in May, a middle-aged man gives a scary speech while adjusting a large object hidden under a tarp in the bed of a pickup truck. Parked on the street outside a suburban home, he ticks off a few of his favorite tech services—smartphone apps that give driving directions and overnight e-commerce delivery—then says, “Politicians have a plan to get rid of all that.” The video ends with him jumping into the driver’s seat and buckling up as the sentence fragment “ Your Message” appears on the screen.

In a version that ran on television, the fragment was replaced with the more intelligible phrase “Reject big government’s Internet power grab,” suggesting the last line was a mistake. But plenty of other baffling questions remain. Is Congress going to ban Google Maps and Amazon Prime? Did the guy live in that house, or was he staking it out? Did he have plans to fix things, and did they have anything to do with whatever was under that tarp?