tl;dr – Platform Self-Preferencing: Benefits to Consumers and to Competition
Background… Four months after a similar antitrust measure was advanced to the floor of the U.S. House, a bipartisan group of senators, led by Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), announced that they will introduce legislation designed to drastically reduce the ability of digital platforms to favor their own goods and services. Dubbed the American Innovation and Choice Online Act, the bill presumes that the practice of “self-preferencing” is inherently harmful to competition.
But… While the draft Senate bill does make certain improvements over its House counterpart, the legislation fundamentally misunderstands the nature of platform competition and the benefits that accrue to consumers from many self-preferencing practices. The bills also would delegate enormous power and discretion to antitrust regulators, who may use that power to achieve fundamentally political ends.