The American Innovation and Choice Online Act sets commonsense rules of the road for major digital platforms to ensure they cannot unfairly preference their own products and services

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Chairwoman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Competition Policy, Antitrust, and Consumer Rights, and Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, announced that the Senate Judiciary Committee will take up the American Innovation and Choice Online Act

“For too long, tech giants have used their power to suppress their rivals, unfairly put their products first in their marketplaces, and force sellers on their platforms to buy more services from them in exchange for better placement on their site. This has hurt both small businesses and consumers. A broad, bipartisan group of our colleagues agree and have signed on to our legislation to implement common sense rules of the road for these platforms. I look forward to voting this bill out of committee and bringing it one step closer to becoming law,” Klobuchar said.

“In recent years, Big Tech has taken on a larger and larger role in determining what Americans buy, hear, see and say online. I worked closely with Senator Klobuchar and others to address concerns presented by this growing power. I look forward to the Judiciary Committee’s consideration of our legislation, which will bring greater fairness for small businesses and more transparency for consumers to these dominant online platforms,” Grassley said.

This legislation is cosponsored by Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), John Kennedy (R-LA), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Mark Warner (D-VA), Josh Hawley (R-MO), and Steve Daines (R-MT). A bipartisan group led by House Antitrust Subcommittee Chairman David N. Cicilline (D-RI) and Ranking Member Ken Buck (R-CO) introduced a similar version of the bill in the House, which was voted out of the House Judiciary Committee. This legislation has gained broad support from businesses and consumer groups. 

The American Innovation and Choice Online Act will:

  1. Set clear, effective rules to protect competition and users doing business on dominant online platforms, including:
    1. Prohibiting dominant platforms from abusing their gatekeeper power by favoring their own products or services, disadvantaging rivals, or discriminating among businesses that use their platforms in a manner that would materially harm competition on the platform; and
    2. Prohibiting specific forms of conduct that are harmful to small businesses, entrepreneurs, and consumers, but that do not have any pro-competitive benefit, including:
    • Preventing another business’s product or service from interoperating with the dominant platform or another business;
    • Requiring a business to buy a dominant platform’s goods or services for preferred placement on its platform;
    • Misusing a business’s data to compete against them; and 
    • Biasing search results in favor of the dominant firm.
  2. Give antitrust enforcers strong, flexible tools to deter violations and hold dominant platforms accountable when they cross the line into illegal behavior, including significant civil penalties, authority to seek broad injunctions, emergency interim relief, and potential forfeiture of executive compensation.
  3. Prevent self-preferencing and discriminatory conduct by the most economically significant online platforms with large U.S. user bases which function as “critical trading partners” for online businesses. For such platforms, the rules target harmful conduct, allowing the platforms to innovate, do business, and engage in pro-consumer conduct, including protecting user privacy and safety, preventing unlawful behavior, and maintaining a secure online experience for users.

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