Press Release

New Senate Bill Prohibits Digital Platforms From Anticompetitive Discrimination

October 14, 2021

Today, Senators Amy Klobuchar and Chuck Grassley announced the release of the American Innovation and Choice Online Act. This bill prohibits dominant digital platforms from anticompetitively discriminating on their platforms.

Today’s dominant platforms occupy a gatekeeper role online. This bill would prevent some of the key ways they can leverage that role to hurt competitors and consumers, such as giving their own products and services prime placement on their platforms, stealing and copying the data of competitors, and limiting access to their platforms for competitive threats.

Public Knowledge is a long-time advocate of nondiscrimination requirements for digital platforms. Digital marketplaces are uniquely susceptible to anticompetitive discrimination without regulatory intervention. This bipartisan bill marks an important milestone towards ending the discrimination plaguing those marketplaces.

This legislation is the Senate counterpart to one of the digital platform-focused bills in the legislative package that originated in the House Antitrust Subcommittee earlier this year.

The following can be attributed to Charlotte Slaiman, Competition Policy Director at Public Knowledge:

“Nondiscrimination protections like the ones in this bill are crucial for breaking down the power of Big Tech. Right now, dominant platforms can pick winners and losers to stay in power and benefit their own bottom line—to the detriment of the people who rely on them: consumers, innovators, and the small businesses. This bipartisan bill marks a meaningful step forward in the fight to protect consumers and competition online.

“We look forward to continuing to work with Chairwoman Klobuchar, Ranking Member Grassley, and the bipartisan group of cosponsors to strengthen the nondiscrimination protections in this bill. We want to cut down on the additional hoops enforcers have to jump through to bring a case against Big Tech discrimination, so that competition on and against dominant digital platforms will have a fair shot.”