Big Tech Was Their Enemy, Until Partisanship Fractured the Battle Plans

WASHINGTON — For all the divisions in Washington, one issue that had united Republicans and Democrats in recent years was their animus toward the power of the biggest tech companies.

That bipartisanship was supposed to come together this week in a landmark House report that caps a 15-month investigation into the practices of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google. The report was set to feature recommendations from lawmakers to rein in the companies, including the most sweeping changes to U.S. antitrust laws in half a century.

But over the past few days, support for the recommendations has split largely along party lines, said five people familiar with the talks, who were not authorized to speak publicly because the discussions are private.

On Monday, the Democratic staff on the House Judiciary Committee delayed the report’s release because they were unable to gain Republican support. Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio, the top Republican on the committee, has asked his colleagues not to endorse the Democratic-led report, said two people with knowledge of the discussions. And Representative Ken Buck, a Republican of Colorado, has circulated a separate report — titled “The Third Way” — that pushes back against some of the Democrats’ legislative recommendations, according to a copy obtained by The New York Times.

The Republicans’ chief objections to the report are that some of the legislative proposals against the tech giants could hamper other businesses and impede economic growth, said four people with knowledge of the situation. Several Republicans were also frustrated that the report didn’t address claims of anti-conservative bias from the tech platforms. Mr. Buck said in “The Third Way” that some of the recommendations were “a nonstarter for conservatives.”

The partisan bickering has cast a cloud over what would be Congress’s most aggressive act to curtail the power of technology