COMMENT: ICLE Statement on Senate Digital Platform Bills

WASHINGTON (Jan. 20, 2022) — As the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee prepares to begin markup today on both S. 2992, the American Innovation and Choice Online Act, and S. 2710, the Open App Markets Act, the International Center for Law & Economics (ICLE) offers the following comments.

From ICLE President and Founder Geoffrey A. Manne:

“The notion that platform entry into competition with edge providers is harmful to innovation is entirely speculative. Moreover, it is flatly contrary to a range of studies showing that the opposite is likely true. Mandating that platforms act as essential facilities would impose costs, most importantly in terms of the effective operation of the platform and its own incentives for innovation.”

From ICLE Director of Competition Policy Dirk Auer:

“Lawmakers refuse to acknowledge that self-preferencing, data portability, and interoperability all involve tradeoffs. In condemning the first and mandating the latter two, these bills will harm the very consumers they purport to protect. A more appropriate response would be to ensure that regulators carefully weigh the pros and cons of these practices on a case-by-case basis. Unfortunately, that more measured response would cut against the overarching imperative to ‘do something’ now, whatever the costs.”

Media interested in interviewing ICLE scholars about self-preferencing and platform economics should contact Editor-in-Chief R.J. Lehmann at [email protected] or 908-265-5272.