Center for American Entrepreneurship Board Member Bettina Hein Warns that the Platform Competition and Opportunity Act Would Endanger America’s Startup Ecosystem
December 15, 2021
WASHINGTON, D.C. – John R. Dearie, President of the Center for American Entrepreneurship, today issued the following statement regarding testimony to be provided by Bettina Hein today before the Competition Policy, Antitrust, and Consumer Rights Subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee:
“This afternoon, CAE board member and serial entrepreneur Bettina Hein will provide expert testimony regarding the Platform Competition and Opportunity Act and the legislation’s likely impact on entrepreneurs like her. The Act would restrict acquisitions of startups by larger companies, risking market distortions and unintended consequences that would endanger the nation’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Bettina’s testimony is important for Subcommittee Members to hear. Bettina is a three-time software entrepreneur who has built technology companies in both the United States and Europe. She is currently the founder and CEO of juli – an artificial intelligence-powered digital health and wellness startup based in Boston, MA. Prior to juli, Bettina founded Pixability, a video advertising company also based in Boston. Bettina’s first company, Switzerland-based SVOX, which developed text-to-speech software for automotive and mobile device applications, was acquired by Nuance Communications for $125 million.
In her testimony, Bettina warns that the Act ‘would severely restrict a major avenue of exit for entrepreneurs and their investors, strengthen the competitive position of large incumbents, and reduce the value of acquired startups like mine’ and ‘risks major damage to America’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and the post-Covid recovery.’
To protect competition and innovation, Bettina argues ‘we don’t need the blunt sledge-hammer of sweeping legislation with all its risks of market distortions and unintended consequences. Rather, we need a surgeon’s scalpel to carefully dissect, understand, and appropriately address the unique circumstances, details, and market implications that each proposed acquisition entails – and that scalpel resides with…the Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division, which already have the authority to block anti-competitive mergers.’
She points out that the FTC’s suit to block the acquisition of chip design provider Arm Ltd. by Nvidia, filed on December 1st, is the most recent example of the current system working as it should.
The Center for American Entrepreneurship thanks Subcommittee Chair Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Ranking Member Mike Lee (R-UT) for inviting Bettina to be part of today’s important hearing. We respectfully urge Subcommittee Members to carefully consider Bettina’s insights, given her experience as a successful three-time entrepreneur.”
About the Center for American Entrepreneurship
The Center for American Entrepreneurship (CAE) is a nonpartisan research, policy, and advocacy organization whose mission is to engage and educate policymakers in Washington, and at state and local levels across the nation, regarding the critical importance of entrepreneurs and startups to innovation, economic growth, job creation, and expanding opportunity – and to pursue a comprehensive policy agenda intended to significantly enhance policy circumstances for new business formation, survival, and growth.
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