Business Groups Warn: Beware of Unintended Consequences of S. 2992  

Washington, D.C. (02/23/2022) – Some members of Congress are pushing the American Innovation and Choice Online Act (AICOA), or S. 2992, under the guise of a much-needed antitrust bill to help consumers. In reality, AICOA is a deeply flawed bill that will have harmful effects for American consumers. Don’t take our word for it though. Just ask the numerous business groups who have raised concerns about AICOA in recent weeks.

“Whether intended or not, AICOA will have significant and wide-ranging consequences for consumers. From jeopardizing the safety and privacy of American consumers to forcing companies to share consumers data with third parties – even foreign firms – to stripping Americans of the conveniences they use every day, this legislation would break the products and services so many people have come to love,” said Chandler Smith Costello, a spokeswoman for the Don’t Break What Works Campaign.

What they’re saying:

U.S. Chamber of Commerce (2.16.22)

“Many members of Congress have pointed out that these proposals could damage American interests, to the benefit of China.  For example, at a recent markup in the Senate Judiciary Committee on S. 2992, the American Innovation and Choice Online Act, Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) expressed ‘concerns with provisions in the bill that could require data sharing between American companies and bad actors under the control of the Chinese Communist Party…’

“The United States has never used legislation to punish success. In many industries, scale is important and has resulted in significant gains for the American economy, including small businesses. U.S. competition law promotes the interests of consumers, not competitors. It should not be used to pick winners and losers in the market or to manage competitive outcomes to benefit select competitors. Aggressive competition benefits consumers and society, for example by pushing down prices, disrupting existing business models, and introducing innovative products and services.”

U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (1.18.22)

“We understand the need to regulate technology and social media platforms. However, we urge you to carefully consider the unintended consequences that any technology related legislation could have on the communities that depend on these channels to keep their businesses open and afloat. We believe that these consequences could disproportionately harm small and minority-owned businesses as we have adopted these technologies at a far greater rate than our non-Hispanic counterparts.”

Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (1.19.22)

“U.S. policy must continue to embrace and support digital connectivity and technological innovation/leadership across industry sectors. Stable and neutral policy (that does not pick winners and losers) is especially important now. At a minimum, the Senate Judiciary Committee needs to hear from affected stakeholders about legislation, such as S. 2992 and other legislation, that it plans to vote on. Technology and technology platforms are vitally important to small businesses and the future of U.S. entrepreneurship. SBE Council encourages open dialog and a more thorough vetting of the consequences of “big tech” legislation before moving forward.”

Small Business Roundtable (1.18.22)

“Millions of small businesses are successfully navigating the “Great Pivot,” and have leveraged tools and knowledge to modify business operations and sales to succeed. As we have noted in our research, much of that success is tied to taking businesses online and engaging in digital commerce in online marketplaces…The story here is not black and white. Writing a new set of rules in a vacuum doesn’t help entrepreneurship or small business. Neither does ignoring the fact that new rules are needed to build a more equitable economy than the one we had before Covid-19.”

​​Coalition of Small Business Tech Groups and Community Leaders (1.18.22)

“These bills seek to increase competition litigation by expanding regulation for a variety of platforms. Unfortunately, they would cripple the platforms small firms use as a launchpad at a time when small businesses need all the help they can get. On this front, small businesses and voters find alignment, as they both seek to fend off growing security and privacy threats and economic challenges amid an ongoing global pandemic and a fitful economic recovery.”

Connected Commerce Council (1.12.22)

“…the bill as written will actually eliminate choices and opportunities, including the tools that small businesses value most… proponents of the Senate legislation fail to understand how banning “self-preferencing” could completely change the way digital platforms support small businesses…​​If Congress really wants to help small businesses, it should pay attention to the risks of collateral damage resulting from so-called antitrust reform and protect millions that thrive with the support of technology digital platforms.”

Learn more about how AICOA disrupts American innovation here

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