CCAGW Urges Senate Judiciary Committee to Oppose S. 2992 | Council For Citizens Against Government Waste

CCAGW Urges Senate Judiciary Committee to Oppose S. 2992

Letters to Officials

January 20, 2022

Chairman Dick Durbin
Ranking Member Charles Grassley
Senate Judiciary Committee
U.S. Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Chairman Durbin and Ranking Member Grassley,

You will soon be considering S. 2992, the American Choice and Innovation Online Act, which would amend antitrust law relating to online business practices.  On behalf of more than one million members and supporters of the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW), I urge you to oppose this legislation, which would undermine and thwart the consumer welfare standard.

The American Choice and Innovation Online Act bases the definition of practices by “covered platforms” that are deemed “unlawful discriminatory conduct” on recommendations from the House Judiciary Committee’s flawed October 6, 2020, Majority Report.  While the report purported to promote the “public good,” its proposals would damage digital platforms and increase barriers to entry into the marketplace for new businesses.  The American Choice and Innovation Online Act would facilitate these harmful results by banning covered platforms from selling or provide private-label goods in the marketplace and hindering the ability of small sellers using these platforms from finding new customers for their products.  While the legislation appears to be aimed at the covered platforms, it would also adversely impact those who develop and sell products on the platforms.

Antitrust laws that have been in force for more than a century have always been and should continue to be enforced based on the consumer welfare standard.  Legislation that would dramatically amend, undermine, or thwart that standard should not be enacted by Congress.  CCAGW is also concerned about actions by the current chair of the Federal Trade Commission, who abandoned the consumer welfare standard when reviewing mergers, acquisitions, and potential antitrust enforcement activities without the opportunity for input or analysis of her unprecedented decision.

Any changes to antitrust laws must not vary from the consumer welfare standard.  Since the American Choice and Innovation Online Act would undermine that standard and cause harm to consumers, I strongly urge you to oppose this legislation and any similar bill that may be considered by the Judiciary Committee.

Tom Schatz 
President, CCAGW 

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