It’s a worrying sign for the economy that U.S. consumers are feeling financial strain. Faced with higher prices for gas, groceries and a range of other goods and services, Congress is considering legislation that, if passed, would mean higher prices for consumers.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota) is pushing for a summer vote on a key antitrust bill, American Innovation and Choice Online Act (AICOA), which prohibits tech giants from offering “store-brand” products and services, which are often cheaper than other name-brand products. There is no doubt that AICOA represents an unprecedented disregard for consumers, families, workers and the economy, which are already struggling with rising inflation.
For consumers, this proposed legislation comes at a good time. Not only are AICOA proponents deaf to the impact of a looming recession, but they are also ignoring the reality that hitting big companies could lead to higher, not lower, consumer prices that don’t help inflation.
a recent survey american fringe project Shows that nearly 9 in 10 Americans want the government to prioritize policies that reduce inflation and the cost of living – rather than exacerbate the problem.A recent study confirms these findings polls Consumers are deeply skeptical of efforts to regulate big tech companies if doing so would jeopardize services such as Amazon Prime, research by the American Consumers Association found.
Furthermore, although Investigation found 22% of respondents strongly agreed that “Amazon is too big,” 52% of Amazon users oppose or strongly oppose efforts to break up Amazon into smaller companies, and 67% of Prime users oppose or strongly oppose legislation that could eliminate Prime services. Only 25% of respondents approve or strongly approve of such a move.
Among consumers who shop on Amazon, the survey found that 97% are somewhat or very satisfied with Amazon Prime. Only 1% of respondents expressed dissatisfaction. One of the main reasons consumers perceive high customer satisfaction is because of low prices.
To make matters worse, AICOA also includes clauses that prohibit targeted companies from offering free ancillary services like Google Maps alongside Google search results, and require platforms like Amazon, Facebook, Google, and other big tech companies to share customer data with third-party vendors. , which can have widespread negative effects Consumer Data Privacy and Security.
Additionally, platforms that offer services and products at competitive prices also help small businesses reach large numbers of consumers. Small businesses not only use these platforms to sell and market their goods, but they also rely on the comprehensive services provided by these companies, such as warehousing and shipping. Recent research by the Data Catalyst Institute shows that, 90% of rural small businesses Find these tools valuable to their operations. Online platforms have been critical to the survival of small businesses during COVID, and they remain critical as we continue to accelerate the transition to a more digital economy.In fact, the new polls Small businesses were found to say that online marketplaces help them connect with larger retailers by making it easier to bring new products to market (64%), increasing access to new markets (59%), and lowering barriers to connecting with new customers (46) competition percentage).
Clearly, the Senate bill under consideration will “Creating more problems than solving them,” Especially with the current economic uncertainty. As the election looms, Congress should consider addressing consumer and voter concerns, such as inflation, rather than disrupting competitive online marketplaces that offer consumers more choice at lower prices.
Prioritizing legislation that consumers don’t care about and that ultimately hurts them shouldn’t be a priority in Washington.
Krisztina Pusok and Steve Pociask work for the Consumer Association of America, a nonprofit educational and research organization.For more information about the Institute, please visit www.TheAmericanConsumer.Org Or follow us on Twitter @ConsumerPal.