In October, I joined with U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar and ten Senate colleagues to introduce the American Innovation and Choice Online Act. This bill has garnered support from all sides of the political spectrum and is a commonsense measure to increase competition on dominant digital platforms.
Today, there are only a handful of dominant companies that control what Americans can buy, hear and say online. Big Tech has power over the economy that we haven’t seen in generations, perhaps ever. And it grows even larger, taking over yet more of our daily lives. With this power, Big Tech is able to pick winners and losers on their platforms.
The goal of the American Innovation and Choice Online Act is to ensure that Big Tech can be held accountable when they engage in a discriminatory and anticompetitive manner. This legislation sets clear rules for businesses on dominant platforms. This will help to promote competition by targeting harmful conduct while ensuring that innovative and pro-consumer conduct is protected.
I want to be clear, the Big Tech platforms offer great products to their consumers. This isn’t about breaking up companies or penalizing them for being successful. This is about ensuring that small businesses have a fair and even playing field when utilizing a dominant online platform.
I also want to address many of the falsehoods that have been spread by opponents of this legislation. Nothing in this bill will require a company to shut down their marketplace or prevent them from selling their own branded products. Nothing prevents a search company from showing maps or answer boxes in their search results. And cellular phones can be sold with preinstalled apps. This bill simply sets clear, effective rules to protect competition and users doing business on dominant online platforms.
I’m a strong believer in the free market. The United States is still the greatest country in the world for starting and growing a business. But Big Tech is making it more difficult for small businesses to realize success on these dominant platforms. Congress must update our laws to keep up with the growing and evolving online ecosystem.
Big Tech has the power to determine what we can buy, see, and say online. Big Tech has the power to destroy companies small and large by denying them access to consumers and even the internet itself. It is time that we ensure there is effective antitrust enforcement so the American people can take the power back from these Big Tech giants.
I want to again thank Senator Klobuchar for her work with me on this legislation. I also want to thank all of my colleagues from both sides of the aisle who have joined me in cosponsoring this legislation. Congressmen Cicilline and Buck introduced a companion bill earlier this year which has already been marked up and passed out of the House Judiciary Committee. The American Innovation and Choice Online Act is a bipartisan, bicameral bill and I hope that we can move it forward and bring real, positive change to all Americans.
Adapted from a floor speech given on November 3, 2021.