PROTECTING SMALL BUSINESS, PROMOTING ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Defective Bill Targeting “Big Tech” Would Harm Small Business Sellers: Senate Committee Plans Markup Without Hearing

By at 12 January, 2022, 4:31 pm

NEWS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Washington, D.C. – This week, the Senate Judiciary Committee announced it would soon markup the American Innovation and Choice Online Act (S.2992), an intrusive regulatory bill that aims to vastly alter the business models and services of certain “big tech” companies. If enacted, according to the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council), the measure would produce harmful consequences for small businesses and small sellers, and Committee members need to understand the bill’s impact, which has not received a formal committee hearing to date.

SBE Council president & CEO Karen Kerrigan said:

“Unfortunately, Senators will be voting on S. 2992 without the benefit of learning about its damaging impact on the millions of small businesses that happily use ‘big tech’ platforms to reach customers, make sales, and help run their businesses. America’s platform ecosystem is benefitting consumers, small businesses and the platforms alike, but outdated and uninformed views about competition and the technology ecosystem has some Senators responding to niche special interest voices who do not represent consumers. The bill would upend models and services that consumers enjoy. It would erect barriers to the massive consumer marketplaces that small businesses currently have access to, which are driving new sales, helping them to compete and survive – even thrive – in the COVID economy. Congress needs to focus on the pain points and priorities of small businesses, and breaking ‘big tech’ is not one of them.”

Kerrigan added:

“Congress and the White House need to be advancing policies that create an environment where businesses large and small – and from all industries – can flourish, innovate and succeed. That is how our economy will make it through this COVID economic mess. Instead, and now with relentless and record inflation, anti-trust and regulatory bills like S. 2992, will worsen conditions by disrupting markets even further.”

As noted by SBE Council chief economist Raymond Keating:

“During an era of unprecedented dynamism, competition, entrepreneurial opportunity, and consumer benefits, some Members of Congress inexplicably seem stuck in a dark fantasy where they talk about all-powerful monopolies. It’s not just a political peculiarity, but it very much is a grave concern as misguided pieces of legislation like the American Innovation and Choice Online Act, S. 2992, continue to gain attention and threaten U.S. businesses, jobs and American competitiveness.”

Keating added:

“Rather than celebrating that some of the world’s top technology firms are U.S. businesses and acknowledging it is vital that America continue to lead the world on tech, these elected officials seem bent on undermining U.S. tech leaders. In fact, these efforts copy-cat the harsh and punishing tech regulatory efforts of the EU and other individual countries. Perhaps more so than in the past, technology firms like Amazon.com, along with Facebook, Google and Apple, all targeted by congressional legislation, provide invaluable products for U.S. entrepreneurs and small businesses. Undermine so-called ‘Big Tech,’ and Congress will undermine millions of small businesses.”

Keating concluded:

“With regard to S. 2992, it’s easy to see how a company like Amazon.com, facing intrusive regulation and the possibility of large penalties, might be forced to eliminate certain offerings such as Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, and either eliminating Amazon’s own product offerings or the offerings of other businesses on its site. None of this is good for consumers, nor does it make any sense for small businesses. We can only hope the Senate Judiciary Committee changes course and begins to explore the effects of S. 2992 before it takes uninformed action on the legislation.”

Related content:

Biden’s Executive Order and Big Tech: Hits Small Business and Misses on Economic Common Sense, Small Business Insider, September 2021.

Banning SMBs from Online Marketplaces Limits Opportunity, Raises Barriers, Hurts Competition, POLICY ALERT, June 2021.

Small Business Advocate Supports House Members Urging Caution About Radical Legislation Aimed at U.S. Tech Leaders, June 20221.

Small Business Has Big Problems with Harassing America’s Big Tech, Washington Times Op-ed, February 2021.

Contact:

Karen Kerrigankkerrigan@sbecouncil.org

Raymond Keating, rkeating@sbecouncil.org

SBE Council is nonpartisan advocacy, research and education organization dedicated to protecting small business and promoting entrepreneurship. For 27 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 for additional information. Twitter: @SBECouncil

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