– Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) announced today
that they will introduce bipartisan legislation to restore competition online
by establishing commonsense rules of the road for dominant digital platforms to
prevent them from abusing their market power to harm competition, online
businesses and consumers.
“As Big Tech has grown and evolved over the years,
our laws have not changed to keep up and ensure these companies are competing
fairly. These companies have continued to become a larger part of our everyday
lives and the global economy, controlling what we see and how we engage on the
internet,” Grassley said. “Big Tech needs to be held accountable if
they behave in a discriminatory manner. Our bill will help create a more even
playing field and ensure that small businesses are able to compete with these
“American prosperity was built on a foundation of
open markets and fair competition, but right now our country faces a monopoly
problem, and American consumers, workers, and businesses are paying the price,” Klobuchar said. “As dominant digital platforms – some of the biggest companies our world
has ever seen – increasingly give preference to their own products and
services, we must put policies in place to ensure small businesses and
entrepreneurs still have the opportunity to succeed in the digital marketplace.
This bill will do just that, while also providing consumers with the benefit of
greater choice online. I’m proud to introduce this much-needed legislation
alongside Senator Grassley, Chair Durbin, and a bipartisan group of our
colleagues, and I look forward to it passing the Senate and being signed into
The American Innovation and Choice Online Act will:
clear, effective rules to protect competition and users doing business on
dominant online platforms, including:
a. Prohibiting dominant platforms from
abusing their gatekeeper power by favoring their own products or services,
disadvantaging rivals, or discriminating among businesses that use their
platforms in a manner that would materially harm competition on the platform;
b. Prohibiting specific forms of conduct
that are harmful to small businesses, entrepreneurs, and consumers, but that do
not have any pro-competitive benefit, including:
- i. Preventing
another business’s product or service from interoperating with the dominant
platform or another business;
- ii. Requiring a
business to buy a dominant platform’s goods or services for preferred placement
on its platform;
- iii. Misusing a
business’s data to compete against them; and
- iv. Biasing search
results in favor of the dominant firm.
antitrust enforcers strong, flexible tools to deter violations and hold
dominant platforms accountable when they cross the line into illegal behavior,
including significant civil penalties, authority to seek broad injunctions, emergency
interim relief, and potential forfeiture of executive compensation.
self-preferencing and discriminatory conduct by the most economically
significant online platforms with large U.S. user bases which function as
“critical trading partners” for online businesses. For such platforms, the
rules target harmful conduct, allowing the platforms to innovate, do business,
and engage in pro-consumer conduct, including protecting user privacy and
safety, preventing unlawful behavior, and maintaining a secure online
experience for users.
This American Innovation and Choice Online Act is
cosponsored by Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Richard
Blumenthal (D-Conn.), John Kennedy (R-La.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Cynthia Lummis
(R-Wyo.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii.), Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Josh Hawley (R-Mo.).
A bipartisan group led by House Antitrust Subcommittee Chairman David N.
Cicilline (D-R.I.) and Ranking Member Ken Buck (R-Colorado.) introduced a
similar version of the bill in the House of Representatives.