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Jim Bernard offers some thoughts on a pair House resolutions he says will cause more pain than they cur.

To the editor:

My time as a public servant was informed by the practical experience gained as third generation small business owner. As Clackamas County Chair, I also paid keen attention to federal policies that might help or potentially hurt local jobs and economic development opportunities.

This is why I want to alert readers to some significant reservations I have about overzealous anti-trust regulations being targeted at 'Big Tech' companies.

The Herald-Pioneer.Congress has a responsibility to regulate these companies appropriately, but it must be done sensibly in ways that continues to encourage competition and protect consumers while also promoting American innovation. In particular, I'm concerned about the ramifications of two bills that recently passed out of the House Judiciary Committee, the "American Innovation and Choice Online Act" (HR 3816) and the "Ending Platform Monopolies Act" (HR 3825). As currently written, these bills are the equivalent of a using regulatory hatchet where a more precise scalpel is needed.

Throughout the pandemic, local businesses were able to survive only with the support of online services and access marketplaces offered at low or little cost by 'Big Tech' companies.

The Herald-Pioneer.

However, HR 3825 and HR 3816 impose restrictions that may result in the elimination of or increased costs for popular services like Gmail, YouTube, Google Maps or Amazon Prime shipping, for example. This may have the intended effect of breaking up 'Big Tech' but it'll also have the unintended effect of increased costs and hassles for business and the rest of us.

No one could have predicted decades ago how ingrained technology would become into our daily lives. Let's update the rules without ruining a thriving industry. When Congress returns to this debate, I encourage readers to pay careful attention because the devil is always in the details. What may sound like only a hit for 'Big Tech' may well impact your own wallet and the bottom lines for many small businesses.

Jim Bernard


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