The American Prospect: The Open Markets Act is Supported by a Wide Variety of Groups

February 3, 2022

The American Prospect

The Open App Markets Act, co-sponsored by Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), would prohibit companies like Alphabet and Apple from requiring app developers to use app stores and in-app payment systems controlled by Google and Apple for access to their markets.

It’s part of a broader and bipartisan antitrust crackdown against Big Tech, designed to protect competition and free startups from dominance by the platform monopolies. The American Innovation and Choice Online Act, which passed a markup in the Judiciary Committee two weeks ago, focuses on big tech companies prioritizing their services over competitors. The Open App Markets Act homes in on competition within the app stores themselves.

THIS LEGISLATION WILL BE a moment of trust for Ossoff. As of March 2021, right before he moved his stocks into the blind trust, Ossoff owned as much as $5 million in Apple stock, potentially half of his net worth.

Apple, as one of the two companies that control nearly all mobile operating systems, strongly opposes the app store bill. Lobbyists for the tech giant have already stopped bills of this type at the state level, and the company has funded respected think tanks like the Brookings Institution and other outside groups to influence Congress. Plus, according to a former Hill staffer who focuses on antitrust, Ossoff has been in touch personally with Apple CEO Tim Cook about this legislation. Ossoff’s office in a statement to the Prospect confirmed this information, and that he’d met with others on all sides of the issue, just as he also did with the American Innovation and Choice Online Act, which he supported in the bill’s markup two weeks ago.

THE OPEN APP MARKETS ACT is supported by a consortium of groups across the political spectrum and tech coalitions like the Internet Accountability Project, Coalition for App Fairness, Lincoln Network, Electronic Frontier Foundation, American Principles Project, and the American Economic Liberties Project.

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