Local Chamber Of Commerce Urges Congress to Reconsider Antitrust Proposals

Businesses Of All Sizes Relied On Digital Platforms Throughout The Pandemic

Jerry Nadler at markup for the antitrust bills (Photo by Sarahbeth Maney for the New York Times)

Citing the importance of digital platforms for small businesses and Westchester’s start-up community, the Sleepy Hollow-Tarrytown Chamber of Commerce this week sent a letter to Congress urging New York’s elected leaders to oppose a package of bills aimed at rewriting antitrust law to target America’s largest technology companies.

“We are writing today to express our concern with a package of legislation aimed directly at the technology companies who have provided the tools, platforms, and services so very necessary to sustaining the small business community this past year,” the letter opens.

“We understand the need for conversations among policymakers surrounding the technology sector. In fact, we very much encourage these conversations and support strong competition across all markets,” the letter, addressed to Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler, and Representative Jones, continues. “But fostering competition should not come at the expense of the affordability and accessibility of digital services, and it should not require a shift away from pro-consumer and free-market principles that have allowed New York’s business community to flourish.”

“A bill like the Platform Competition and Opportunity Act is especially worrying for Westchester’s vital start up community. Many entrepreneurs and their investors have their eyes on an acquisition by a larger entity down the line. If passed into law, many of those opportunities will disappear, ultimately diminishing innovation and investment,” the letter goes on to say, referencing a specific bill introduced by Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-Brooklyn).

“As you can imagine, the interruption of in-person commerce greatly impacted our membership. If not for the digital platforms that allowed for virtual communication and reach – with both employees and customers – we know the consequences would have been far more severe.”

The Sleepy Hollow-Tarrytown Chamber of Commerce’s letter is the latest in a growing chorus of opposition to the antitrust proposals. The Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York as well as the Manhattan, Bronx, Brooklyn, Staten Island, and Queens Chambers of Commerce sent letters to congress earlier this month. In addition to New York’s business community, the Progressive Policy Institute, National Venture Capital Association, US Chamber of Commerce, and Administrative Office of the US Courts have weighed in to voice their concerns about the bills.

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