Scheduling the bill for a markup without a committee hearing that could place concerns under scrutiny is extremely concerning given the numerous ramifications the bill could project.
Without evidence to support their claims, supporters of the bill might suggest that it would not negatively affect the services and products consumers currently enjoy, but unfortunately, the reality is that it would absolutely make consumer choice and technology worse, while also hurting small businesses.
The bill’s provisions would ban platforms to self-preference their products and deny them to impose the strict terms and conditions on small businesses that use the platforms. As a result, consumers would see higher prices for products and less consumer choice, while their data privacy and security would be put at risk.
Small businesses would not be spared of the repercussions. The bill would make it difficult for small businesses to access online marketplaces, which have been vital for their growth and success. The alternative to set up their own platforms would be extremely costly, which would undoubtedly raise questions about the financial viability of the large number of small businesses, startups, and entrepreneurs that are currently using online marketplaces.
Rushing the bill without any opportunity to review and discuss these concerns is a recipe for disaster where small businesses and consumers would bear the heavy costs.