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Antitrust Inquiries into Platforms Concerns Small Business Owners

Washington, D.C. (September 9, 2019) – U.S. small business owners are frustrated and concerned by the announcement made by several State’s Attorneys General (AGs) to investigate large technology companies for “stifling competition.” The Connected Commerce Council (3C) and its members responded today to the growing trend of state and federal policymakers working to score political points by attacking “big tech” rather than working to understand the powerful relationship between those companies and the tens of millions of American small businesses.  Large technology companies provide small businesses with secure, scalable and affordable digital tools that drive their success and the national economy. 

“I am amazed and a little dumbfounded that elected officials are attacking technology companies and digital platforms for being too big,” said David Espinoza of Espinoza Book Maker in Phoenix, Arizona. “Have people considered how important these companies are to small businesses like mine and countless more? I suspect they have not and that has me seriously concerned that politicians are rushing into something that will make it harder for me to run and grow my business.”

According to a study released by Deloitte today, 90 percent of all small businesses believe that digital tools have fostered innovation in their business, particularly in entering new markets and communicating with customers. The consequences of these misguided activities by state AGs are increasing fears across industries and geographies, from bakeries in Brooklyn to online retailers in North Carolina. 

“It is politically expedient to attack successful and sizable companies, but American small businesses deserve better,” said 3C President Jake Ward. “The men and women whose work and leadership employs nearly half of the U.S. workforce and drives the American economy, deserve to be heard and understood by the policymakers claiming to serve them. Access to online tools and services is the engine that drives American capitalism and small business success. Claiming otherwise and asserting that “big tech” stifles competition ignores countless economic analysis, market research and individual experiences to the contrary. 3C and thousands of members are eager to help state AGs and regulators better understand the realities of the interconnected digitally empowered economy.”

“Small businesses are the backbone of the American economy, and I implore those that are supposed to be protecting my best interest to listen to us. Before states take action that could change how digital platforms work for small businesses, my hope is that they educate themselves and understand the small business economy. Getting this wrong could be disastrous to millions of hard-working Americans,” pleads Courtney Caldwell of Texas’s ShearShare.

Former Army Green Beret and owner of GoRuck in Jacksonville Beach, Florida, Jason McCarthy states, “Before our government attacks these companies and force changes in their operations or products, they must understand how important these products and services are to small business like mine. Access to these tools is mission-critical to my company. And changing the way these companies operate could have drastic effects on the way I grow and run my business.  Once policymakers understand this, I’m sure they will understand why I am worried.”

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