RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – A bipartisan bill in the Senate that targets “Big Tech” was introduced Wednesday with app stores run by Apple and Google as top targets for action, and there’s movement in the House as well. But a Washington, D.C. think tank is warning that the House package approved by the Judiciary Committee poses a threat to small businesses.

An analysis by the Data Catalyst Institute finds that the House bills will “cause havoc and collateral damage.” The group assigned the bills a “C-minus grade.”

“Congress is threatening to upend a century of antitrust precedent in their crusade against the tech companies that saved millions of small businesses during the pandemic and power millions more during our recovery,” said Connected Commerce Council (3C) President Jake Ward. 3C sponsored the study.

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“From the White House to the Federal Trade Commission to the halls of Congress, extremist antitrust policies won’t solve competition problems, but will instead create mountains of new problems for the small businesses policymakers claim they are protecting,” Ward added.

The bills are intended to “enhance antitrust enforcement and restore competition online.” They include:

● Ending Platform Monopolies Act
● American Choice and Innovation Online Act
● Platform Competition and Opportunity Act of 2021
● Augmenting Compatibility and Competition by Enabling Service Switching (ACCESS) Act of 2021

“We appreciate the Committee’s goals, but this so-called ‘Populist Antitrust’ (also known as ‘Hipster Antitrust’) legislation is broadly written and would have many unintended consequences. We are particularly concerned with the bills’ impacts on small businesses,” the authors of the DCI report say.

3C warns that the legislation would impact digital tools and services provided to small businesses by Google, Amazon, Facebook and others.

“The proposed bills would make for a more volatile and uncertain business environment for small businesses. If Members of Congress are serious about helping Main Street businesses, they should talk to small business owners about what they need instead of forcing game-changing regulations on them that no one wants,” Ward. explained.

The full analysis can be read online.

3C describes itself as “a non-profit membership organization with a single goal: to promote small businesses’ access to digital technologies and tools.”

DCI says it is a “research organization working to inform and shape policies that provide both meaningful protection and promote economic and social good.”