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Internet Industry Calls For Rejection of New York City Council Anti-Innovation Legislation

WASHINGTON, DC – Washington, D.C. – Today, the Internet Association sent a letter to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio urging him to reject anti-tech legislation pending in the New York City Council. The bills threaten the growth of technology-driven companies and reduce competition, consumer choice, and serve no public policy interest other than protecting incumbent industries.

The proposed legislation (Bills 842 and 847, sponsored by Council members Ydanis Rodriguez and Steve Levin) would place a cap on new for-hire licenses issued to ridesharing services, protecting the interests of taxis and setting a precedent that could discourage innovative companies from making New York City their home.

“The restrictions proposed by the City Council’s legislation are contradictory to New York City’s longstanding reputation as a leading innovation hub,” said Michael Beckerman, President and CEO of the Internet Association. “New York City should be a place where innovation is supported and new ideas can prosper.”

Additionally, the letter calls attention to the importance of services like Lyft Line, UberPool, and Sidecar Shared Rides, which have facilitated more than one million carpool trips in New York City alone. Though proponents of the legislation may claim that capping these licenses will help quell the problem of traffic congestion, singling out the platforms that are doing the most to tackle that issue isn’t the solution.

“Unequivocal protection of special interests is not in the best interest of New York City’s consumers. They should be afforded the opportunity of choice, instead of being forced to pay higher prices for inferior services. Technological innovations can and should be part of the solution to 21st Century problems, not misleadingly labeled as the problem themselves,” concluded Beckerman.

The full letter can be viewed here.