November 29, 2016


TechNet Applauds Senate Passage of Bill that Prohibits Companies from Punishing Consumers who Post Negative Reviews Online

Washington — TechNet, the national, bipartisan network of innovation economy CEOs and senior executives, today applauded the Senate for passing legislation that prohibits companies from punishing consumers who post negative reviews online.  Passed by the House in September, the Consumer Review Fairness Act of 2016 (H.R. 5111) bans the use of “non-disparagement” clauses in consumer contracts, which companies use to prevent consumers from posting critical reviews of their experiences online.

“TechNet applauds the Senate for approving the Consumer Review Fairness Act by unanimous consent,” said Linda Moore, president and CEO of TechNet.  “We are now into the holiday season, and nearly 70 percent of consumers will rely on reviews to purchase a gift for a loved one.  Those consumers should never hesitate to post a candid review for fear of retaliation.  By banning the use of non-disparagement clauses, the Senate has sent a strong message that it is unacceptable to punish consumers for posting honest reviews online.  TechNet thanks Commerce Chairman Thune and Senators Schatz and Moran for their leadership in securing this legislation’s passage.  We urge President Obama to sign it into law as soon as possible.”

Upon enactment, the Consumer Review Fairness Act would nullify any non-disparagement clauses in consumer contracts that restrict consumers’ ability to publicly review products or businesses.  The legislation also authorizes the Federal Trade Commission and state attorneys general to take action against businesses that include such clauses in their contracts.

In May, TechNet joined with a dozen other organizations and companies in writing to the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade in support of this legislation.  The letter can be viewed here.

About TechNet

TechNet is the national, bipartisan network of technology CEOs and senior executives that promotes the growth of the innovation economy by advocating a targeted policy agenda at the federal and 50-state level.  TechNet’s diverse membership includes dynamic startups to the most iconic companies on the planet and represents more than two million employees in the fields of information technology, e-commerce, advanced energy, biotechnology, venture capital, and finance.  TechNet has offices in Washington, D.C., Silicon Valley, Sacramento, Seattle, Boston, and Austin.

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