After months of hearings and negotiations, pressure is growing in the Senate to pass new laws banning online platforms from giving preference to their own products and services over those of their competitors. On Thursday, a bipartisan group of senators announced plans to introduce a nondiscrimination bill that could reshape Amazon’s online marketplace.
The American Choice and Innovation Online Act, led by Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA), would prevent platforms like Amazon, Apple, and Google from using their dominance to disadvantage other companies and competitors that use their platforms. In June, House lawmakers voted out a bill sharing the same name from the Judiciary Committee. Klobuchar’s Senate version isn’t identical to the House’s, but shares similar language.
This announcement follows a Wednesday
For years, third-party sellers have accused Amazon of similar behavior. These accusations were part of
“When dominant tech companies exclude rivals & kill competition, it hurts small businesses and can increase costs for YOU,” Klobuchar said in a tweet on Thursday. “My new bipartisan legislation with [Grassley] will establish new rules of the road to prevent large companies from boxing out their smaller competitors.”
Outside of Amazon, the bill could also change how Apple and Google run their app stores, banning the companies from giving preference to their own first-party apps and software. Earlier this year, Apple was
As of publication, Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO)
“Many ‘critics’ called our bipartisan antitrust bils ‘Democrat bills,’” Buck said in a tweet. “That was false then, and it’s false now.”
Despite the measure’s broad congressional support, trade groups like Chamber of Progress issued statements Thursday suggesting that the bill will hurt customer experiences online, not enhance them.
“Preventing Amazon from selling Amazon Basics and banning Google’s maps from its search results isn’t going to do anything to make the Internet better for families,” Adam Kovacevich, founder and CEO of Chamber of Progress said in a Thursday statement. “This is like calling a car mechanic to fix your laptop.”
The Chamber of Progress coalition partners with tech companies like Amazon, Facebook, and Google.
Pressure is mounting for Congress to act on online marketplaces and counterfeit products as well. Last week, House lawmakers introduced
Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.