Senate lawmakers introduce bill targeting Apple App Store, Google Play

Posted:
in General Discussion
A bipartisan group of US senators has introduced a bill meant to curb the market power of online app stores like the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

Credit: WikiMedia Commons
Credit: WikiMedia Commons


Senators Richard Blumenthal, Amy Klobuchar, and Marsha Blackburn are sponsoring the bill, which is dubbed the "Open App Markets Act." It would place restrictions on massive app marketplaces, which the senators believe wield too much market control.

The bill would prohibit app stores from requiring developers to use their payment systems, for example. It would also bar app stores from punishing apps that offer different pricing structures through another online payment system or platform. Additionally, it bans app stores from using of non-public information to compete with third parties.

"I found this predatory abuse of Apple and Google so deeply offensive on so many levels. Their power has reached a point where they are impacting the whole economy in stifling and strangling innovation," Sen. Blumenthal said Wednesday, as reported by Reuters.

In addition to the Senate bill, Blumenthal says he expects companion legislation to be introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives soon.

Dominant app stores have come under antitrust scrutiny in the past few years. Apple, for example, is currently in a legal battle with Epic Games over its App Store guidelines and its 15% to 30% commission on app and in-app purchases. Google is also in a dustup with Epic Games over its 30% commission.

There are also a number of antitrust bills currently in the House that are meant to rein in the power of major technology companies like Amazon, Google, and Apple. That antitrust package came on the heels of a monthslong investigation into the market power of Silicon Valley giants.

Apple and Google both slashed app store commissions for smaller developers and businesses in 2020. Apple, for its part, denies that the program was introduced because of the Epic Games lawsuit.

Read on AppleInsider
«134

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 66
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 10,686member
    Epic must not be doing well in court.   Sounds like they're trying their luck by buying some politicians.

    But I'm getting tired of the "competition" mantra getting so over used.  I guess it's all they have.
    edited August 11 killroyrob53genovelleomasoubshankn2itivguypscooter63watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 66
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 2,054member
    Epic must not be doing well in court.   Sounds like they're trying their luck by buying some politicians.
    Tech companies aren’t as loved as they and their stockholders think they are.
    lam92103elijahg
  • Reply 3 of 66
    Don’t these politicians have more important things to deal with?
    williamlondonkillroyrob53omasouGeorgeBMacbshankKTRuraharamikeincan2itivguy
  • Reply 4 of 66
    bshankbshank Posts: 225member
    I hope Klobuchar and Blumenthal are lrepared to pay both Apple and Google for all they’ve invested into their app stores for developers over the years if they’re going to give Epic (a company that has no problem with competition) a big handout. How does success equate to forcing parts of these companies into being public utilities?
    killroygenovellewatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 66
    Very good start. Time to rein in these monopolies
    williamlondonlkruppelijahgdantheman827
  • Reply 6 of 66
    Here come the idiots…They ignore the monopoly Straus oil companies have enjoyed for 70 years and go after app market places. They ignore the monopoly status of cable providers, the consolidation of media markets and go after…app stores. 
    TomPMRIfoadwilliamlondonapplguykillroyrob53p-dogomasouGeorgeBMacrobaba
  • Reply 7 of 66
    iOS_Guy80 said:
    Don’t these politicians have more important things to deal with?
    They do, but not good PR for them. Now Apple and Google employees who donated millions to politicians should learned and think again
    killroywatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 66
    "It would also bar app stores from punishing apps that offer different pricing structures through another online payment system or platform."

    What is this even referring to?
    williamlondonkillroyDogpersonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 66
    foadfoad Posts: 708member
    Here come the idiots…They ignore the monopoly Straus oil companies have enjoyed for 70 years and go after app market places. They ignore the monopoly status of cable providers, the consolidation of media markets and go after…app stores. 
    This is the most infuriating thing about this stuff. TELCOs are way more corrupt than the App Stores and the issues affect every American. It is also something that everyone agrees is hurting competition.
    williamlondonkillroyp-dogGeorgeBMacrobabamontrosemacsuraharajibn2itivguywatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 66
    applguyapplguy Posts: 190member
    Let’s assume alternative app stores comes to Apple. And also Apple adopts the license model that Epic uses for Unreal Engine. 

    Can an app be made for iOS devices without using Xcode?
    killroyradarthekatKTRuraharan2itivguy
  • Reply 11 of 66
    killroykillroy Posts: 165member
    Can an App Store reject an app because it's so unstable that it's tantamount to being malware.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 66
    igorskyigorsky Posts: 594member
    Tim Cook has explicitly stated that Apple will monitize its IP in other ways if it has to.  Be careful what you wish for, devs.
    edited August 11 p-dogsconosciutomontrosemacsapplguyllamaJBSloughn2itivguykillroypscooter63watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 66
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,718member
    applguy said:
    Let’s assume alternative app stores comes to Apple. And also Apple adopts the license model that Epic uses for Unreal Engine. 

    Can an app be made for iOS devices without using Xcode?
    The Apple App Store is only for Apple devices. It doesn’t sell apps for any other product. I believe all iOS and macOS devices require Xcode and now I believe there are restrictions on third party api’s. (Someone can confirm if deny this). I challenge these politicians to find 1% of Apple customers who want the App Store to be (messed up) changed. The number is probably closer to 1000 customers. The politicians are listening (being bought by) to loudmouth, greedy developers. I wish they would listen to users instead. If they did, we’d want a closed, secure, easy to purchase App Store. 
    roundaboutnowmike egglestonp-dogrobabaleehericksradarthekatmwhiteapplguyn2itivguykillroy
  • Reply 14 of 66
    p-dogp-dog Posts: 105member
    rob53 said:

    The politicians are listening (being bought by) to loudmouth, greedy developers. I wish they would listen to users instead. If they did, we’d want a closed, secure, easy to purchase App Store. 
    They are also acting on behalf of Microsoft, who has been in the background trying to manipulate the situation the whole time, yet somehow a $2+ trillion market cap tech company not subject to any of this round of “regulation” or even minimal scrutiny.
    edited August 11 rob53robaballamakillroywatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 66
    Someone should look into these politicians’ recent donation list. Or whose family members just got deposited few hundred thousand by random people. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 66
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 2,653member
    igorsky said:
    Tim Cook has explicitly stated that Apple will monitize its IP in other ways if it has to.  Be careful what you wish for, devs.
    Yes. There's no such thing as a free lunch. If Apple can't monetize the App Store to recoup their investment, they should just shut it down. But they should do that only in select jurisdictions where they aren't able to monetize their work adequately. Once people see that Apple has the willpower to demand compensation for its work, people may stop asking for free lunches.
    killroy
  • Reply 17 of 66
    emig647emig647 Posts: 2,440member
    The same Marsha Blackburn that is vehemently against Net Neutrality because her top 6 campaign contributors are ISPs and media companies? She obviously doesn't know anything about technology and votes according to keep that money flowing.

    As a user I love choice. But as a developer, all I can see is this opening up piracy of apps and cheap knock-offs of apps we've worked hard to produce. Honestly I can go either way. Apple has burned me as a developer in the past because of their rules which was a total gray area and more lack of understanding on their part. They have also burned me as a user banning apps that were previously in the store that I paid for. I doubt this will get anywhere, but could be interesting.
    robaba
  • Reply 18 of 66
    genovellegenovelle Posts: 1,297member
    bshank said:
    I hope Klobuchar and Blumenthal are lrepared to pay both Apple and Google for all they’ve invested into their app stores for developers over the years if they’re going to give Epic (a company that has no problem with competition) a big handout. How does success equate to forcing parts of these companies into being public utilities?
    They should send them invoices and demand payment immediately. 
    edited August 11 watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 66
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,628member
    It’s just a bill, people. Don’t assume it will fly through Congress and be signed by the POTUS tomorrow. Now comes the good part, the behind the scenes cat and mouse game, the lobbyists handing out cash and gifts.

    But in the end, if this does pass, I think small developers will get crushed. Why would Apple spend any time or money promoting apps when they can’t profit from it? The big developers will fund their own marketing.
    GeorgeBMacrobababshankkillroyuraharallamaanonymousepscooter63watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 66
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 10,686member
    lkrupp said:
    It’s just a bill, people. Don’t assume it will fly through Congress and be signed by the POTUS tomorrow. Now comes the good part, the behind the scenes cat and mouse game, the lobbyists handing out cash and gifts.

    But in the end, if this does pass, I think small developers will get crushed. Why would Apple spend any time or money promoting apps when they can’t profit from it? The big developers will fund their own marketing.
    Yes, behind the scenes.
    But also behind those scenes will be the financing of 2022 midterms.

    robabasconosciutokillroy
Sign In or Register to comment.