Shopify is starting to expand its government affairs teams in the US and Europe by recruiting top Silicon Valley firm lobbyists with experience on both sides of the Atlantic.
Regulators and government agencies worldwide have started to put pressure on the most renowned digital agencies during these past few months. Tech giants including Apple, Meta, Amazon, and Alphabet have started to face a lot of antitrust suits where most of their executives are being summoned before legislative committees to testify.
In July 2021, Shopify hired Maryam Mujica as a vice-president for global affairs related to the government. Maryam Mujica is a former US State Department official and was head of emerging markets and international government affairs at Google.
She also used to work at Twitter before joining Shopify. Shopify is currently strengthening its government official team so that they can focus on “Platform Regulation, Competition, Crypto, Data Protection, Consumer Protection, Issues Related to Commercial Partners and Tax.”
According to the Senate Filings in the US, Shopify has lobbied the US Congress and White House on two separate occasions for two major issues regarding digital antitrust legislation.
Issues faced by Shopify
One issue is the prevention of large firms using app stores requiring developers to use their own payment system. The second issue is to stop online platforms from using third-party seller data to improve their products.
Apple, Amazon, Google, Meta, and many other tech giants have refuted this idea by stating that it would reduce consumer choice and security. Shopify is also lobbying the European Commission staffers on the Digital Marketing Act, which contains the provisions mentioned above.
“Right now, Shopify might evade those thresholds, but they might not in the future”, said Vass Bednar, executive director of McMaster University’s graduate public policy program. “As they grow and those rules are copied [or] imported” by governments elsewhere, such regulations have “more substantive implications for the company.”
In June 2021, Shopify reduced the cut it takes on transactions through its app store after Apple and Google attempted a similar move.