WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed out of committee the American Innovation and Choice Online Act (S. 2992) that would prohibit large tech companies from engaging in common industry-wide retail practices such as self-preferencing of goods on platforms and offering combined services at a discount. The bill is sponsored by Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Charles Grassley (R-IA).
Patrice Onwuka, a senior policy analyst at Independent Women’s Voice, issued the following statement:
“The days of innovative services making it easier to live, work, and do business, especially during a pandemic, could be numbered if the American Innovation and Choice Online Act passes the full Senate. Today’s affirmative committee vote is very troubling because this bill is not about protecting competition in America, but expanding regulatory control over a handful of large tech corporations, even if to the detriment of consumers.
“Senators Klobuchar and Grassley acknowledged the issues with their ill-conceived legislation by introducing a manager’s amendment that does nothing to address substantive concerns from across the political spectrum. As written, convenient, cost-saving, and secure services from Google Maps in search results to Amazon Prime would effectively be banned. The impacts for women are easy to imagine. Women business owners who depend on a variety of services to find customers, target their goods and services to the right audience, and carry out their business functions would be left in the cold.
“People are understandably concerned about the power and reach of some very large and influential companies. But massively expanding government reach and layering on red tape that will strangle out popular and useful services is the wrong way to encourage free and fair competition.
“It’s very telling and unacceptable that lawmakers are skipping the right to mark up the bill without even holding a hearing for the public to hear the potential unintended consequences of this legislation or alternative approaches. It leaves us to question: what do they have to hide? The public deserves a full debate before such important legislation — which will impact their daily lives — is enacted.”
Independent Women’s Voice fights for women by expanding support for policy solutions that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance freedom, opportunities, and well-being.