6 Reasons Why Senate Judiciary Must Stop S. 2992

The so-called American Innovation and Choice Online Act, S. 2992, would break some products most loved by American consumers

Washington, D.C (01/13/2022) – The Senate Judiciary Committee announced its intention to begin debating S. 2992, the American Innovation and Choice Online Act, as soon as today. This legislation would effectively break consumers’ favorite products and digital services and take away pro-consumer and pro-competitive innovations that have made Americans’ lives easier before and during the pandemic.

Here are six reasons why Senate Judiciary Committee members should vote against this legislation:

  1. This bill could break popular features like Prime free shipping. The bill’s prohibitions would make it untenable for Amazon to promote Prime offers to Prime members and to ensure Prime meets its delivery promise with a shipping service that is faster and cheaper than competing options. The bill could force consumers to pay more and wait longer for the things they need.
  2. This legislation places extreme burdens on American companies without corresponding rules for competitors overseas. By singling out a handful of leading American companies, this bill would make U.S. businesses less competitive. This would harm American technology leadership and competitiveness, with corresponding risks to U.S. national security.
  3. The bill jeopardizes the safety and privacy of American consumers by restricting companies’ ability to apply security standards and forcing data-sharing with third parties, including foreign firms. By limiting companies’ ability to make judgments between similar products or determine whether another business user can be trusted with consumer data, these measures would force companies to choose between protecting customers; security information or being sued. In addition, because the bill prohibits bundling services, platforms would be inhibited from deploying their own tools to fight malware, viruses, and spam.
  4. The bill would make services such as Google Search less helpful to consumers. By prohibiting companies from showing their own information up front in search results, these efforts could eliminate many of the features that users find most helpful in services like Google Search, including contact information that appears when they search for a restaurant or a map showing its location. Users would instead have to repeatedly navigate through a series of individual links to find all the information they are looking for.
  5. The bill could hurt small businesses in many ways. Rather than helping small businesses compete, this bill actually harms the many small businesses who use digital platforms to reach and communicate with customers, and the proposed legislation would jeopardize the ability of platforms to provide these services. For example, this bill jeopardizes Amazon’s ability to offer a marketplace for small businesses alongside its own retail business, which gives customers the opportunity to shop for brand-name goods as well as small business offerings. Doing so would expose Amazon to legal uncertainty and crippling fines. This could deprive 500,000 U.S. small businesses of a tool they use to grow.
  6. The bill would eliminate many of the convenience and safety features consumers expect from their phones. Because operating systems like iOS and Android would be prevented from bundling trusted apps and security functions, like antivirus software and spam protection, consumers would be left to find the apps they need on their own, determine what is safe to use, and look after their own digital security.

Learn more here.

The Don’t Break What Works campaign is powered by the Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA).