Launching a skating attack on the new proposed law in the US that would bar tech companies, like Amazon.com Inc, from giving preference to their own businesses on their websites, US BigTech Amazon launched a media blitz against the new antitrust bill in a bid to derail the new ground-breaking bipartisan bills.
Amazon while attacking the bill said in a blog post https://www.aboutamazon.com/news/policy-news-views/antitrust-legislation-and-the-unintended-negative-consequences-for-american-consumers-and-small-businesses that the bill “jeopardizes two of the things American consumers love most about Amazon: the vast selection and low prices made possible by opening our store to third-party selling partners, and the promise of fast, free shipping through Amazon Prime.”
The company argued the bill targets one retailer, Amazon, by requiring a market value of at least $550 billion to qualify for regulation, thus excluding Walmart and Target.
Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar and Senator Chuck Grassley, Republican, are lead co-sponsors of the bill. A spokesperson for Klobuchar, when asked about the Amazon post, said: “Who do you trust? The largest online retailer in America with a demonstrated record of stiffing small businesses and lying about this bill’s impact, or small businesses themselves?”
The spokesperson also listed business groups, which back the bill, including Small Business Rising and Main Street Alliance. The Senate could vote on the bill as early as this month, a source familiar with the situation said, helping explain the growing voice of opposition. The measure passed the Senate Judiciary Committee in January, despite hefty lobbying from top executives like Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook. It also passed the House Judiciary Committee last year.
The US Chamber of Commerce, in a letter to the Senate Tuesday, called the bill “misguided” and said it would “be an overhaul of the American economy, one sector at a time.”
Pro-tech groups that oppose the bill include the Chamber of Progress, TechNet, and the Computer & Communications Industry Association.
The Chamber of Progress said late last month that the bill if it became law, would “break popular consumer products,” specifically Amazon Prime, Google Maps, and Apple apps for the iPhone. It’s been running an online ad saying “Senator Klobuchar wants to erase Amazon Basics,” Amazon-branded products.
Senate sponsors have said if the bill becomes law that Alphabet’s Google would be allowed to show maps and answer queries, that companies could offer free shipping, and cell phones that could be sold with pre-installed apps.
Amazon argued the bill could harm the hundreds of thousands of small businesses that sell goods on its website as its large fines for violations “would make it difficult to justify the risk of Amazon offering a marketplace in which selling partners can participate.”