December 6, 2023

Utah Bans Online Competition

You probably remember Utah from their past crusade against online keyword bidding. After filing a new house bill to ban competitive keywords though, the Utah legislation has began to step up their efforts to protect the profitability of out dated business models.

House Bill 451 will effectively make all types of online competition illegal. Section 1 of the bill states that “it shall be unlawful to compete with a trademarked or copyrighted product; whether by selling similar, same, or better products in said trademark holder’s market.”

The bill further clarifies that “in the case of trademarked, or patent pending products, the market shall be awarded to the market leading product. Selling same, similar, or better products for less shall constitute a violation.

It’s still uncertain how Utah will keep track of the “market leader” products, but legislators are already talking to lobbyists about solving this problem.

“This is a great law for business owners like me”, said Joe Lipstien – a local record shop owner. “It’s so hard to compete with these new-fangled online sites like iTunes and Amazon. With this law, it will be illegal for them to sell Music in Utah – allowing me to spend my money on government kickbacks instead of innovation.”

OK Ok, yes it’s satire, and yes it’s terrible – but it’s also believable; and that’s what should scare you!

About Ryan Jones

Ryan Jones is an SEO from Detroit. By day he works as a manager of SEO & Analytics at SapientNitro where his team performs SEO for Fortune500 clients. By night he's either playing hockey or attempting to take over the world with his own websites - which he would have already succeeded in doing had it not been for those meddling kids and their dog. The views expressed here have not been paid for and belong only to Ryan, not any of his employers or clients. Follow Ryan on Twitter at: @RyanJones, add him on Google+ or visit his personal website: