American Innovation and Choice Online Act seeks to ensure level playing field
WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 27, 2022) – The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), the nation’s leading small business advocacy organization, sent a letter of support to the U.S. Senate supporting S. 2992, the American Innovation and Choice Online Act, an antitrust bill that seeks to ensure a level playing field and choice for small businesses on the internet.
“Without a doubt, the internet has vastly changed the small business economy,” said Mitch Relfe, NFIB Manager of Federal Government Relations. “Small businesses have had no choice but to rely on a small group of technology companies that have been dominating the digital economy for a variety of business needs. This legislation offers important protections from unfair and anticompetitive behavior that small business owners overwhelmingly support and need.”
The American Innovation and Choice Online Act is sponsored by Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA). Unfortunately, the dominance of certain large technology companies has already been an avenue for problematic business practices, conflicts of interest, and limited choices for small business owners. In a recent member ballot, 84% of NFIB members favor Congress taking legislative action to control unfair and anticompetitive practices of these companies.
Key small business protections include prohibiting large technology companies, who are Covered Platforms from:
- Unfairly preferencing a platform operator’s products, services, or lines of business over a competitor’s;
- Unfairly limiting a competitor’s products to compete against the platform’s operator and discrimination in the enforcement of these regulations;
- Discrimination in the application of enforcement of the Covered Platform’s terms of service among similarly situated business users in a matter that may harm competition on the platform;
- Restricting the capacity of business owners to operate with different platform’s operating systems, hardware, or software features that are available to the platform operator’s products;
- Conditioning access to the Covered Platform or preferred status or placement on the platform on the purchase or use of other products offered by the Covered Platform operator that are not unique to the Covered Platform itself; and
- Using non-public data obtained from or generated on the Covered Platform by the activities of a business user or by the interaction of a Covered Platform user with the products of a business user to offer or support the offering of the Covered Platform’s own products.