Smaller Firms Support US Tech Competition Bill As Giants Resist

Dozens of companies and business organisations sent a letter on Monday to US lawmakers in support of a bill that would restrict “self-preferencing” by the biggest tech companies.

Big tech companies such as Amazon have been pulling out the stops to fight the bill’s passage.

But the companies supporting the measure, including Yelp, Sonos, DuckDuckGo and Spotify, called it a “moderate and sensible bill aimed squarely at well-documented abuses by the very largest online platforms”.

Other organisations signing the letter are the American Booksellers Association, the American Independent Business Alliance, the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and Kelkoo Group.

Image credit: Amazon

Legal update

They urged the US Senate to pass the bill, saying it would modernise antitrust laws and allow smaller companies to compete.

Democractic Senator Amy Klobuchar and lawmakers from both parties said last week they had the votes to pass the legislation, with Klobuchar saying she believed she had the 60 Senate votes needed.

The Senate is expected to vote on the bill as early as late June, and the House of Representatives is then expected to vote on the Senate version.

The bill specifically targets Amazon, Google parent Alphabet, Apple and Facebook parent Meta, and would prevent them from using their market power to promote their own goods and services.

‘User risk’

Those companies have fiercely campaigned against it, with Amazon arguing it would harm popular offerings such as the Prime subscription service and two-day deliveries.

The Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA) said it has spent more than $10 million (£8.1m) this year buying television advertisements that warn the bill would “break Prime” and “end guaranteed two-day free delivery”.

The bill would also force companies to share certain customer data with potential rivals, which companies say would create a risk to users.

The CCIA said the bill, known as the American Innovation and Choice Online Act, would “undermine US competitiveness” and “put US users at risk”.

Matthew Broersma

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

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