If you are tired of the ads against SB2992which are continuously running on TV and the internet, you might be interested to know that the bill is a bipartisan bill, not part of the “liberal agenda,” as the ads claim.
The bill is called the American Innovation and Choice Online Act. It was sponsored by Senate Judiciary Committee Antitrust Subcommittee Chair Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and full committee Ranking Member Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and co-sponsored by Sens. Dick Durbin (D-IL), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Mark Warner (D-VA), Josh Hawley (R-MO), John Kennedy (R-LA), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), and Steve Daines (R-MT).
That’s clearly a bipartisan group.
The bill is targeting massive firms (as represented in the graphic above from Information Age) engaging in what is seen by many as anticompetitive practices online.
Klobuchar said this is a reasonable attempt to regulate huge, powerful companies.
“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,” she 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 law.”
Grassley, an Iowa Republican, agreed with her.
“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,” he 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 platforms.”
Read it for yourself.
“This bill prohibits certain large online platforms from engaging in specified acts, including giving preference to their own products on the platform, unfairly limiting the availability on the platform of competing products from another business, or discriminating in the application or enforcement of the platform’s terms of service among similarly situated users,” according to the bill language itself.
“Further, a platform may not materially restrict or impede the capacity of a competing business user to access or interoperate with the same platform, operating system, or hardware or software features. The bill also restricts the platform’s use of nonpublic data obtained from or generated on the platform and prohibits the platform from restricting access to platform data generated by the activity of a competing business user. The bill also provides additional restrictions related to installing or uninstalling software, search or ranking functionality, and retaliation for contact with law enforcement regarding actual or potential violations of law. The bill establishes affirmative defenses for the prohibited conduct.”
I wondered why the ads here only indicated to contact Sen. John Thune and not Sen. Mike Rounds or any of the other senators in our area. When I checked Thune’s website, I found the following:
“Since January of 2013, I have served as a member on the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. I currently serve as ranking member of the Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet, which has jurisdiction over legislation, congressional action, and other matters relating to communications.”
As the ranking member, he is being targeted. The people behind the ads want him to protect big tech, including Apple and some other huge corporations. If you are going to contact Senator Thune, as the ad requests, don’t be fooled by these misleading ads.
Ask Sens. Thune and Rounds to vote for SB2992.
Lanny Stricherz is a 78 year old from Sioux Falls. He spent 35 years in the food business in production, then sales and ultimately as a self employed distributor. The last 11 years before retirement, he was a fraud investigator for Citibank credit cards. Before retirement he was a reading mentor at an elementary school in Sioux Falls as well as a volunteer at the Sioux Falls VA Hospital. After retirement he was a DAV van driver from Sisseton to Sioux Falls, Fargo, Minneapolis and Omaha. He is currently a volunteer at Feeding South Dakota as well as being a peace activist with Veterans For Peace.