Possible Anti-Trust Legislation in eCommerce and Amazon’s Plea for Opposition

[co-author: TJ Hunt] SENATE BILL 2992

Up for consideration before the 117 th Congress this year is Senate Bill 2992 (S. 2992); known as the American Innovation and Choice Online Act (the eCommerce Antitrust Act). The purpose of the eCommerce Antitrust Act is to make unlawful certain discriminatory conduct by “covered platforms.” As defined in the current draft, a “covered platform” is an online platform that has been designated as such by the Department of Justice: Is owned or controlled by a publicly traded company with at least 50 million U.S.-based monthly active users or 100,000 U.S.-based business users

Has U.S. net sales or market capitalization greater than $550,000,000,000

Is a critical trading partner for the sale or provision of a product or service on or directly related to the online platform

Critically, this bill would apply directly to Amazon. However, companies like Apple, Alphabet (parent company of Google), Amazon, and Meta (formerly Facebook) would also qualify under these conditions. UNLAWFUL CONDUCT BY COVERED PLATFORMS

The federal government’s antitrust arms, the FTC and DOJ, would have the power to enforce ten different violations. Some of the key examples of unlawful conduct by covered platforms that must be proven by a preponderance of the evidence under Section 3 of the bill include: Giving preference to the products, services, or lines of business of the covered platform

Limiting another business’s products, services, or lines of business of another business competing on the covered platform

Restricting or limiting the use of covered platform’s operating system or hardware from another competing business Conditioning access to the covered platform or preferred status or placement of the covered platform’s products or services if they are not part of or intrinsic to the covered platform Retaliating against businesses or covered platforms that raise concerns about violation […]

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