Issue: The connection between retailers and their customers is not always direct. Payment processing, internet access, search, and for some, online marketplaces, are examples of economic essentials that are controlled by third party entities. Many of these entities operate with far less competition than retailers. The absence of robust competition in these adjacent industries presents serious risks to retailers in the form of higher costs and disruptions to the overall customer experience. RILA is working with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Congress and the judiciary as they continue to examine how large technological and financial platform firms use their power to stifle competition and harm consumers and the public more broadly.
Action: RILA is encouraging lawmakers to take four primary courses of action: closely examine technology platforms; scrutinize information infrastructure firms; carefully consider anticompetitive data use; and review competitor cooperation that is no longer technologically necessary—particularly in the area of credit interchange. RILA believes that strong competition in industries connected to retail will benefit consumers and allow retailers to thrive. RILA urges policymakers to scrutinize these four areas closely and act to strengthen a healthy and competitive marketplace.