January 31, 2022
The groups, led by the American Principles Project, are urging senators to pass the Open App Markets Act, which bipartisan Sens. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.; Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn.; and Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., introduced in August 2021.
The legislation aims to allow app developers to tell consumers about lower prices and competitive offers, prevent side loading, open opportunities for startup apps and third-party app stores and prevent app stores from taking advantage of developers.
“Gatekeeper control over [iOS and Android] operating systems and their app stores allow these two companies, Apple and Alphabet (Google), which have a combined market capitalization of more than $4 trillion, to exclusively dictate – without checks and balances – the rules of the road for app developers,” the organizations wrote in the Monday letter.
“This monopoly power stifles innovation and competition, hurts consumers and small businesses and creates an unequal playing field where some app developers are required to pay a 30 percent tax,” they wrote.
The legislation stems from the Senate antitrust subcommittee’s hearings last year during which tech companies Spotify, Tile and Match Group testified that Apple and Google’s respective app store policies stifled competition among apps.
The American Principles Project, along with the Claremont Institute, Digital Progress Institute, Bull Moose Project, Consumer Action for a Strong Economy and Internet Accountability Project sent the letter just days after the Justice Department and 35 state attorneys accused Apple of hurting competition in briefs filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Unlike the Big Tech monopolies, the Internet Accountability Project pledges to never sell or share your personal information, which is your property.