Small businesses defenders Google, Amazon to odd letters to editors

Big Business Tech, a slew of local business owners are slamming the proposed antitrust legislation for letters across the US – and they appear to be working off points that are strikingly similar to each other .

Bipartisan legislation known as the “American Innovation and Choice Online Act” – which would ban banner platforms from offering their own products – has cropped up in small publications in states from Arkansas. to New York.

Samuel Pacheco, who runs AI Rides, a personal electric vehicle repair service in the Bronx, was laser-focused on attacking antitrust legislation published in various Bronx newspapers – The Riverdale Press and The Bronx Times.

“I’ve been working hard to build everything from the American Choice and Innovation Act to Congress,” Pacheco wrote in both letters, adding that he receives countless customers from Google.

Reached by The Post, Pacheco conceded he had a template for how to write a letter and someone else wrote an example – but noted the language was entirely his own. He said he did not receive money for the piece and chose to write it because he was “aligned” with the purpose.

Asked if he had written other letters to the editor, Pacheco said he “didn’t remember.” When asked about the articles he wrote, he said he was a “friend” but demurred to the point that he was a friend or a person who was affiliated with a tech company.

The letters are most concentrated in Delaware, where President Biden happens to spend many weekends and is known to local papers over the Pore. In fact, the legislation appeared in three Delaware publications on April 12.

The same mold: A small business owner has been severely impacted by the pandemic frets of impending antitrust legislation.

Jami Jackson, who owns Gingham + grace, wrote in a Cape Gazette letter that the legislation will “disrupt access to digital tools at a perilous time when public health restrictions may resurface… could disrupt Facebook Live, which is critical to My business. ”

Stephanie Preece, who runs Exercise Class Ignite Fitness Kickboxing, wrote to Bay News, “Even though these tech services have proven to be critical of small businesses across the country, Congress is trying to implement the AICOA, which could disrupt access to digital tools at a time.

Yet another item in Cape Gazette by Nicole Bailey Ashton, who runs swimming pool construction company Ashton Pools – argued that it is important to ensure that businesses have access to the digital tools critical to their operations…. The American Innovation and Choice Online Act (S. 2992 / HR 3816)… will allow us to disrupt access to our digital tools at a perilous time. ”

Contacted by The Post on Tuesday, a representative for Ashton said “Not interested. Thanks. ” when asked for comment.

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Sen. Klobuchar is sponsoring a bill that will crack down on big tech.
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Jackson and Preece did not respond to requests for comment immediately.

This is a classic example of companies trying to wage astroturf wars – and Big Tech is once again a well-worn but often ineffective playbook.

“This is a tactical tech company use time and time again but these papers have no real impact on the policy debate,” Garrett Ventry, a former chief of staff of Congressman Ken Buck, told The Post.

“Big tech companies have no real base – no one organically supports them. If you’re defending them, you’re probably taking funding from them, ”Ventry adds.

“They’re stepping on their own toes: they’re either clumsy or they’re just hammering home key message points. They’ve been tested with research firms,” ​​adds another antitrust insider. “This suggests that this is not a well-coordinated effort; They’re just using the blunt instrument approach.

Last month, reports surfaced Facebook parent company Meta has retained a lobbying firm to sully TikTok’s reputation for its ties to China.

The group helped place op-eds and letters to local papers like the Denver Post and Des Moines Register, raising concerns about China’s “deliberately collecting behavioral data on our children,” according to the report.

Meta, Amazon and Google did not respond to requests for comment as soon as they were involved in the American Innovation and Choice Online Act. Apple declined to comment.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Apple CEO Tim Cook have both lobbied against the bill.

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Sen. Grassley is a co-sponsor of a bill cracking down on tech companies.
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The American Innovation and Choice Online Act – The bill in question – appears to be Congress’s most likely shot at achieving antitrust reform. The bill, which has made it through the House and cleared the Judiciary Committee with bipartisan support, would stop platforms from “self-preferencing” their content.

For instance, Amazon would no longer be able to promote its own content on third-party sellers – a measure backers say would help smaller companies compete against Jeff Bezos’ e-commerce giant.

While small businesses say the legislation could reduce their internet traffic; Supporters say there is no reason to believe that the law would disadvantage small businesses any way.

Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) Has said its “the first major bill on the technology competition in advance of the Senate. Dawn of the Internet.” Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) is also a co-sponsor.

“People care about issues, including censorship and disinformation – there are organic reasons people are upset with big tech,” Ventry said. “But no one wants organically to defend Tim Cook.”

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