Main Street Alliance: The American Innovation and Choice Online Act is a “win for small businesses”

Small Business Rising: Legislation will “safeguard the right for independent businesses to compete and serve the needs of their communities”

WASHINGTON — Small businesses and technology companies are voicing their support for U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA)’s bipartisan legislation to restore competition online, highlighting how the American Innovation and Choice Online Act will level the playing field for small businesses and benefit consumers. 

Here’s what small businesses and technology companies are saying: 

  • Main Street Alliance praised the legislation as a “win for small businesses directly harmed by [big tech] monopolies,” emphasizing that “new anti-monopoly laws must be a key federal priority.” 
  • Small Business Rising noted that the legislation “is a critical part of the solution to the harms caused by the outsized power of the tech giants” and “Now is the moment for Congress to advance legislation that will safeguard the right for independent businesses to compete and serve the needs of their communities.”
  • The National Association of Wholesale Distributors, representing more than 35,000 affiliate companies, wrote that it was “imperative” to “move expeditiously” to advance the bill, “otherwise, competition and innovation will continue to be suppressed to the detriment of consumers and small-and medium-sized business.”
  • A coalition of 35 small and medium tech companies including Yelp, Sonos, Patreon, Y Combinator, and DuckDuckGo urged the legislation’s passage, citing the need to “help restore competition in the digital marketplace and remove barriers for consumers to choose the services they want.”
  • The American Hotel and Lodging Association explained how the legislation will help the 61 percent of domestic hotels that are small businesses, concluding that “this critical piece of legislation would help create a more level playing where search companies are unable to preference their own products and services over what a consumer actually wants to find.”
  • At a Small Business Majority event in February, the President of Hobby Works, a Maryland-based hobby shop, underscored that the legislation will “set clear and effective rules that protect competition and small firms doing business on these platforms,” adding: “all that any small business asks for is a somewhat level playing field and a somewhat fair environment in which to compete.”

Additionally, small businesses are pushing back against the misleading falsehoods perpetuated by Big Tech companies and their lobbyists. Small Business Rising noted that “Big Tech lobbyists have flooded lawmakers’ offices with exaggerations and falsehoods….They have frequently claimed to have the support of the small business community, even as recent reporting has shown otherwise.” Further, CNBC reported that at least one of the “small business” groups that opposes the bill is funded by Big Tech and lists small businesses on their website that have never heard of the group and did not sign up to join. 

These endorsements build on growing momentum for the American Innovation and Choice Online Act. Last month, Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo expressed her support for the legislation.

In April, the Department of Justice voiced its strong endorsement of the legislation, encouraging Congress “to work to finalize this legislation and pass it into law.” 

Recently, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Service Employees International Union, and the Strategic Organizing Center sent a letter to Congressional leaders urging the legislation’s passage. The labor organizations wrote that the legislation “can and will help turn the tide in favor of working people, so they may share in the prosperity they help create every day…and help prevent these digital behemoths from…stifling the equality and fairness in the economy that workers so urgently need and deserve.” Additionally, a coalition of 58 non-profit and public policy organizations also wrote a letter endorsing the bill. 

The Washington Post Editorial Board and Boston Globe Editorial Board have also expressed their support for the legislation

In February, the bill passed the Senate Judiciary Committee by a bipartisan vote of 16-6, making it the first major bill on technology competition to advance to the Senate floor since the dawn of the Internet. 

In October, Klobuchar and Grassley introduced the American Innovation and Choice Online Act to set commonsense rules of the road for major digital platforms to ensure they cannot unfairly preference their own products and services. Representatives David Cicilline (D-RI) and Ken Buck (R-CO) lead companion legislation in the House, which passed the House Judiciary Committee by a bipartisan vote of 24-20 last July. 

The Senate legislation is cosponsored by Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), 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), Steve Daines (R-MT), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).