Data Catalyst Institute Analysis of S. 2992, the “American Innovation and Choice Online Act”
Software Developers and Small App Publishers Face Major Disruption
Individual app developers and small app publishers (<20 employees) rely on integrated platforms to provide a variety of services and value-adds, including data security, payments, mapping, and advertising. Over-regulation – such as the policies proposed under S. 2992 – of these efficient, time- and cost-saving services will make the operations of developers and publishers more complex and expensive.
Over time, this will also drive America’s small businesses away from digital business – at the very time when they should be embracing it to stay competitive, as the Data Catalyst Institute (DCI) has shown across a series of research reports about U.S. small business competitiveness and its relationship with digital tools. This is particularly true at the start of 2022, in the wake of shocks from the end of PPP loans, COVID-related and supply chain issues, and widespread inflation.
Policymakers in Washington DC are planning to disrupt a successful app ecosystem that benefits millions of developers and publishers and related small businesses. It is imperative that they hear from hardworking developers themselves, not just large technology companies and pundits. What’s missing in the discussion about S. 2992 is the knowledgebase, ideas, and experiences of individual developers and small app publishers (typically with fewer than 20 employees).
The Data Catalyst Institute (DCI) strongly recommends that Members of the Senate reconsider S. 2992 and, at a minimum, address the downstream implications on America’s software developers and small app publishers and related small businesses before moving forward.