Small business group asks Congress to prioritize antitrust bill in lame duck

A coalition of small businesses is urging congressional leaders to prioritize an antitrust bill targeting tech giants during the lame duck session.

The letter, sent to House and Senate leadership on Tuesday and shared exclusively with The Hill, calls on lawmakers to make the bipartisan American Online Innovation and Choice Act a “top priority” at the end of the year’s session .

The bill would aim to limit technology giants such as Amazon, Meta, Apple and Google from choosing their own service, according to the letter organized by Small Business Rising.

He added that the legislation represents an “unprecedented opportunity to start leveling the playing field for our small, independent businesses, and the window to do that is closing fast.”

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“While Big Tech lobbyists ring up legislators’ offices and claim to have the support of the small business community, the truth is that our members don’t see much of a future for America’s small businesses if the tech giants continue to corner digital markets and using their power to. favor their own products and block the products of smaller competitors,” the group wrote.

“Small businesses are the backbone of America’s economic dynamism and the vibrancy of our local communities. Now is the time for policymakers to advance legislation that will protect the right of independent businesses to compete and meet the needs of their communities,” he said.

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The letter has been signed by around two independent business organizations representing sectors from toy retailers to bookmakers.

Versions of the bill have advanced out of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees with bipartisan support, but floor votes have not yet been requested.

Supporters – including Sen. Amy Kobuchar (D-Minn.), Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) and Rep. Ken Buck (D-Colo.) – recommending to the conference of leaders to vote on the bills.

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A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said over the summer that a vote on the bill would be sought, but did not specify a specific timeline.

The lame-duck session may be the best move to advance the bill, especially if Republicans take control of the House, since key House GOP members have pushed back against the legislation. As of Monday afternoon, the battle for control of the House was still undecided with more than a dozen close races without a call.

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