WASHINGTON, DC. — Paul Lekas, Senior Vice President, Global Public Policy of SIIA, issued the following statement regarding The American Innovation and Choice Online Act (S.2992) introduced by Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA):
“SIIA and our members support balanced and targeted legislative and regulatory measures designed to maintain and foster a healthy digital ecosystem. S.2992 contains fundamental flaws that render the bill neither balanced nor targeted.
“If enacted, S.2992 will have far reaching consequences for the U.S. economy. It rewrites some of the most basic assumptions of antitrust law, and will have direct effects on all American consumers and virtually all American businesses. It would force consumers to pay more for free or low-cost services they rely on every day and set inconvenient barriers to access these services. It would restrict the ability of small and medium-sized businesses to access tools essential to reaching customers and managing operations. This will increase the costs of doing business and result in higher prices for consumers. Moreover, if enacted, S.2992 will have consequences for longer term U.S. national security and the global competitiveness of U.S. companies.
“We are particularly troubled that the Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled markup of the bill without holding even a single hearing. This is too important a matter to rush and requires a thoughtful approach that creates policy designed to further consumer protection, U.S. innovation, and healthy competition.
“Rather than devoting time to this bill, Congress should develop and pass balanced, comprehensive federal privacy law. The idea of a federal privacy law has bipartisan support and, properly crafted, provides a better path to reach the goals of S.2992 by providing essential consumer protections and fostering a stronger innovation environment in the United States.
“SIIA stands ready to work with Congress, the administration and other stakeholders to advance consumer privacy and promote innovation in digital technology.”
SIIA, the principal U.S. trade association for the software and digital content industries, with over 450 members, is the largest association of software and content publishers in the country. We represent financial information providers, educational technology companies, publishers, start-up firms, and some of the largest and most recognizable corporations in the world.