Chairman Nadler Statement for the Markup of H.R. 3816, the American Innovation and Choice Online Act
Washington, June 24, 2021
Washington, D.C. - Today, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) delivered the following opening remarks, as prepared, during the markup of H.R. 3816, the American Innovation and Choice Online Act:
"H.R. 3816, the 'American Innovation and Choice Online Act,' restores competition online and ensures that digital markets are fair and open. It does so by preventing dominant online platforms from using their market power to pick winners and losers, favor their own products, or otherwise distort the marketplace through abusive conduct online.
"The open internet has delivered enormous benefits to Americans and our economy. The internet and the services available online have increased economic opportunity and innovation, and have greatly expanded access to information, communications, and education.
"Online platforms have been an important part of this success story. Businesses of all types rely on digital platforms to serve customers all over the world. Consumers rely on these platforms to communicate with one another and to enhance their lives.
"However, a small set of online platforms have become gatekeepers for much of the digital marketplace. In many cases, businesses and consumers no longer have meaningful alternatives online.
"As the Committee’s investigation has shown, these dominant platforms can have the incentive and ability to abuse their market power to pick winners and losers among the firms that rely on their platforms to reach users and customers.
"Additionally, these dominant platforms often compete directly against the very businesses that rely on their platform. This allows these gatekeepers to exploit their control over the platform to favor their own products or to exclude or disadvantage rivals.
"Such conduct harms competition. It eliminates incentives and opportunities for small businesses and entrepreneurs to compete in the digital economy, undermining innovation and depriving consumers of meaningful choice online. This legislation would address this sort of anti-competitive behavior by prohibiting certain forms of discriminatory conduct which causes harm to the competitive process.
"It also includes important safeguards. It ensures that online platforms may continue to police conduct, stop malicious and illegitimate activity, protect user privacy and security, and pull down illegal content.
"The American Innovation and Choice Online Act is bipartisan legislation tailored to improve opportunity and innovation online. It serves to prevent gatekeepers from abusing their power in ways that harm competition and consumers. And it does so without disrupting the benefits of the open internet that consumers enjoy today."I thank Chairman Cicilline for his leadership on this bill together with Congressman Gooden, and I urge all Members to support it."