PROTECTING SMALL BUSINESS, PROMOTING ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Kerrigan Statement on Senate Hearing Focused on Competition in Digital Technology Markets

By at 10 March, 2020, 6:20 pm

NEWS

For Immediate Release

Washington, D.C. – Today, the Senate Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights, Committee on the Judiciary hosted the hearing Competition in Digital Technology Markets: Examining Acquisitions of Nascent or Potential Competitors by Digital Platforms. Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council) president & CEO Karen Kerrigan issued the following statement on the hearing discussion:

“We commend Chairman Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Ranking Member Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) for convening today’s important Senate Subcommittee hearing. Consumers and small business owners are among the groups most vulnerable to the negative effects of a government regulatory framework that picks winners and losers, which leads to an unlevel playing for certain businesses while distorting the market for all.  We welcome the attention by Congress on internet freedom and competition issues, as neutral policies that treat all industry players fairly are the best way to enable entrepreneurship and encourage investment in these enterprises. Therefore, entrepreneurs are counting on common-sense, open-internet laws that promote the principles on which the modern internet was founded: openness, transparency, choice, and competition. Comprehensive legislation enshrining these principles with respect to net neutrality, for example, would serve to provide certainty and encourage investment. Common-sense policy will ensure that entrepreneurs and consumers alike can benefit from the next wave of technological innovation.

“Privacy was also discussed at the hearing, and small business owners are in agreement that a national framework is necessary given the severe compliance challenges and costs that a 50-state scheme would impose on small firms and individual entrepreneurs.  A national framework is vitally needed to help small businesses compete and grow, and for the digital economy to flourish.”

Notable comment by Morgan Reed, Executive Director, ACT – The APP Association, during the hearing on the need for a national privacy framework:

“Before this very committee, I believe, Google, AT&T and others described that they were spending hundreds of person hours of legal work to get into compliance with GDPR. Now imagine about 50 state laws plus GDPR, plus California, plus Washington state, plus the possibility of your home state doing another bill and my small businesses do not have the legal resources to serve all of those needs. So, we fully support [as you said] a single standard, a pre-emptive law that comes out of Congress that gives the smallest companies the same rules of the road for privacy, as it does for the behemoths and their giant legal teams, And, I think that is the most important aspect if you want to encourage small innovative businesses.”

Contact:  

Karen Kerrigan, SBE Council president & CEO
e-mail: kkerrigan@sbecouncil.org 

SBE Council is nonpartisan advocacy, research and education organization dedicated to protecting small business and promoting entrepreneurship. For 25 years, SBE Council has worked on and advanced a range of private sector and public policy initiatives to strengthen the ecosystem for strong startup activity and small business growth. Visit www.sbecouncil.org @SBECouncil

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