Press Release Platform Competition

Senator Warner’s Interoperability Bill Promotes Competition in Digital Platforms

October 22, 2019

Today, Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), Josh Hawley (R-MO), and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) introduced the “Augmenting Compatibility and Competition by Enabling Service Switching” (ACCESS Act) to provide interoperability for social media users. Interoperability promotes competition by allowing consumers to communicate across social media platforms, enabling consumers to easily switch between social networks while maintaining their connections and friends. Interoperability helps users choose the online service that works for them — without being tied to the social network that is most popular today.

The following can be attributed to Charlotte Slaiman, Senior Policy Counsel at Public Knowledge:

“We’re thrilled to see a concrete legislative proposal to provide interoperability for consumers. Built on a solid foundation of privacy and security protections, interoperability enables users to communicate across networks promoting competition among social media platforms. Interoperability ensures that users benefit from increased competition, and it helps new competitors grow by reaching users that are locked-in to their current provider. Senator Warner’s interoperability bill lays out an excellent, practical framework for making interoperability a reality while preserving a role for states to go even further.

“Of course, the bill does not solve every problem. The bill could be improved by adding specific language stating that states remain free to impose additional requirements. We still need a dedicated regulatory authority focused on digital platforms to promote competition through interoperability as well as with other tools. And we need a comprehensive federal privacy law to protect individuals’ privacy and autonomy in the digital world.”

Read our latest blog post, “The ACCESS Act Would Give Internet Users More Options,” for more analysis of the bill. For more information on interoperability and why it’s important for consumers, view “Interoperability = Privacy + Competition” or “The Right Way to Regulate Digital Platforms.”