The federal government wants a bigger role in regulating startups


Startups are essentially breeding grounds for innovation, with companies like Airbnb and Uber revolutionizing their respective industries. As always, these startups are in a constant battle with regulators who want to limit or prevent the kind of change that the companies bring, particularly local regulators. That may be about to change, however, as the fighting moves away from local governments and more towards Washington. 

For the past few years, the most visible friction between startups and regulatory agencies has been on the local level. Venture capital “unicorns” like Uber, Lyft and Airbnb have been battling municipal regulators and officials as they transform travel, transportation and other industries largely in the purview of local government. But this regulatory “fault line” is about to move. The most visible conflicts between startups and the government in the next two years will be in the nation’s capital, not in city halls or state houses. Recent developments in Washington, especially the Obama administration’s greater desire to flex its regulatory muscles in several key areas, mean that some booming startups will have to navigate new governmental hurdles in Washington ,D.C. Four areas stand out for particular attention in the next few months.

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