Fighting Back Against Misguided, Ham-Fisted Federal Legislation to Hobble California’s Innovation Economy
California’s innovation economy is under direct siege by misguided lawmakers in D.C. who want to dismantle some of the world’s greatest technology companies, companies that have done more in the last 15 years to advance the cause of convenience, efficiency and collaboration than was even imaginable at the turn of the century. A package of six bills in D.C. aim to take an anti-trust cudgel to big tech companies like Google, Facebook and Apple for no other apparent reason than their size.
The radical legislation seems to be a solution in search of a problem and threatens not only to diminish our economic competitiveness and innovation dominance, but hurt millions of small businesses, workers, consumers and others across the country who have come to rely on these technology companies and benefit from the tools and platforms they provide. See all the ways in which the proposed legislation would undo conveniences, services and benefits that we all enjoy.
Not only is the legislation overly broad and practically unworkable it gets ahead of normal regulatory enforcement mechanisms for addressing issues that are presumably at the heart of valid concerns about how these companies operate. The Bay Area Council agrees heartily with legislators on both sides of the political aisle who are now pushing back hard against the proposed bills, including Silicon Valley Reps. Zoe Lofgren and Rho Khanna and East Bay Rep. Eric Swalwell. And we will be mounting a vigorous effort to defeat the legislation.
“When so much of our prosperity is related to this sector of the economy, it’s important to proceed with prudence,” Lofgren said recently. “We have no idea what the impact will be.”
“Now, when the economy and millions of small businesses are struggling in the pandemic’s turbulent economic wake, is not the time to attack digital industry leaders that helped small businesses stay open and avoid a global depression,” said Jake Ward, President of the Connected Commerce Council, a national nonprofit group that works to promote small businesses’ access to essential digital technologies and tools. “Small businesses need more PPP loans, more digital education and economic stability. They don’t need overreaching ‘anti-monopoly’ proposals that regulate companies whose size, scale and simplicity are precisely what help small businesses. The digitally empowered small business success story should be embraced by Congress, not attacked for its scale.”