US House introduces companion bill taking aim at Apple, Google app stores

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in General Discussion
Lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives have introduced a new bill targeting the Apple App Store and Google Play just a few days after similar legislation was introduced in the Senate.

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The House bill, introduced by Republican Rep. Ken Buck and Democratic Rep. Hank Johnson on Friday, would ban technology companies from requiring developers to use first-party payment systems or distribution methods, Reuters has reported.

"For far too long, companies like Google and Apple have had a stranglehold on app developers who are forced to take whatever terms these monopolists set in order to reach their customers," Buck told Reuters.

The legislation is a companion bill to a similar bipartisan measure introduced in the U.S. Senate on Wednesday. Both bills are dubbed the "Open App Markets Act."

In a statement, Buck's office said that U.S. consumers spent nearly $33 billion on mobile app stores in 2020 and downloaded nearly 13.4 billion apps.

Major app stores like those maintained by Apple and Google have come under scrutiny in recent years. Both the App Store and Google Play take a 30% commission on app and in-app purchases -- a policy that developers like Epic Games have taken issue with.

Apple requires developers to distribute apps only through the App Store on iPhone and iPad devices. Google, for its part, says that it's easier to use alternate app stores on Android, with many devices coming with multiple app marketplaces preloaded.

In addition to the Open App Markets Act, the U.S. House earlier in 2021 also introduced a sweeping antitrust package that could bar major technology companies from boosting their own apps over competitors or acquiring rising rivals.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 14
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,724member
    Time to get full disclosure on contributions from all congressional members on house and senate committees. Remove any with ties to companies against Apple and Google. Probably won’t be any left to serve. 

    We’ve been forced to accept anything Congress dictates without any polling of customers. Congress only does things that makes them money—with a few, very few, exceptions. 
    edited August 13 docbburkmagman1979pichaelGeorgeBMacbadmonkwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 14
    rob53 said:
    Time to get full disclosure on contributions from all congressional members on house and senate committees. Remove any with ties to companies against Apple and Google. Probably won’t be any left to serve. 

    We’ve been forced to accept anything Congress dictates without any polling of customers. Congress only does things that makes them money—with a few, very few, exceptions. 
    I assure you that a majority of the committee members will have significant donations from Apple and Google before all is said and done.
    edited August 13 xyzzy-xxxGeorgeBMacwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 14
    They seem to have no clue what the majority of the consumers and citizens want.  Windows CE allowed you to get programs from anywhere.  Viruses and malware were everywhere, either designed to target the phone or designed to target the computer you were Dow loading the program to “side load” apps. 
     There already is a way to pay the developers directly.  Just look at Netflix.  I personally trust apple with my payment info more than I trust any of the developers.  Plus, it is only one company, instead of a dozen with your info that hackers may target.  
    magman1979montrosemacschaickawatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 14
    magman1979magman1979 Posts: 1,241member
    Keep electing these Darwinian shit heads into positions of power, and you'll keep getting Darwinian shit laws coming out, ruining everything for everyone.
    pichaelwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 14
    applguyapplguy Posts: 194member
    I bet Microsoft is glad they don’t have a mobile OS and app store now. /s
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 14
    If done right, an open market could be secure and good for customers.
    The pegasus debacle just showed that there is room for improvement on the iOS side, but an hardened version of iOS will also prevent viruses regardless if loaded from an App Store or side loaded.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 7 of 14
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 5,191member
    xyzzy-xxx said:
    If done right, an open market could be secure and good for customers.
    The pegasus debacle just showed that there is room for improvement on the iOS side, but an hardened version of iOS will also prevent viruses regardless if loaded from an App Store or side loaded.
    What exactly is, "done right"?
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 14
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 10,731member
    rob53 said:
    Time to get full disclosure on contributions from all congressional members on house and senate committees. Remove any with ties to companies against Apple and Google. Probably won’t be any left to serve. 

    We’ve been forced to accept anything Congress dictates without any polling of customers. Congress only does things that makes them money—with a few, very few, exceptions. 

    That's very true.
    But too, social mania & propaganda can have as big an effect as lobbyists and campaign contributions.

    And, right now tech companies seem to be generally regarded as the bad guys -- so any point of attack is seen to be justified.

    What I find perplexing is:   We fear China because they and their industry and technology sectors are overtaking our own.   But then, instead of supporting and strengthening our industry and technology sectors, we attack them.  It makes no sense.

    or, to put it another way:

    Say they do shut down Apple's App Store.  How does that benefit the country?  If there is no benefit and only harm, why would any sane person want to do it?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 14
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 10,731member
    xyzzy-xxx said:
    If done right, an open market could be secure and good for customers.
    The pegasus debacle just showed that there is room for improvement on the iOS side, but an hardened version of iOS will also prevent viruses regardless if loaded from an App Store or side loaded.
    Yes, there could be benefit -- and the proponents only speak of those benefits -- while they ignore the harm done.

    We know that it is not possible to "harden" any public facing system.  You simply make it as safe & secure as possible.  Apple's walled garden is part of that security wall.

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 14
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,625moderator
    rob53 said:
    Time to get full disclosure on contributions from all congressional members on house and senate committees. Remove any with ties to companies against Apple and Google. Probably won’t be any left to serve. 

    We’ve been forced to accept anything Congress dictates without any polling of customers. Congress only does things that makes them money—with a few, very few, exceptions. 
    This is still about Parler for many of them and this is laying the groundwork for future events, just like the legislation to fine social media companies for deplatforming political candidates. If mobile devices can freely install apps, it takes away Apple's ability to remove them even if they violate their guidelines.

    There's also the recent health apps that had to abide by Apple's and Google's privacy measures, they will be able to bypass those protections and implement full device tracking.

    One of the conditions in the legislation is being able to remove preinstalled apps and app stores. If that happens, network carriers will install their own app stores as the default stores like Amazon does with the Kindle. In China, Tencent (major shareholder in Epic) will try to bundle their store as the default on iPhones and the US will lose billions in revenue from China.

    Other app stores will buy their way onto devices the way Epic has done with their PC store. They will spend hundreds of millions on game and app exclusives to encourage users to install that store and then that store has the ability to infect millions of people with malware/adware.

    Apple can prepare for this outcome and develop active threat protection. This would be a piece of software that runs all the time against unvetted software and drains battery life. They can also flag warnings when the apps try to access suspect networks, location tracking or write files into sensitive locations. They can also charge for accessing their device APIs like requests to their OS stack like Metal.

    This kind of legislation is anti-competitive in itself because it would reduce Apple's ability to compete in mobile gaming against companies like Nintendo who would be allowed to continue operating closed stores and who could even setup their own store on iOS. Nintendo would get 100% of the revenue from their own games on iOS and a 30% cut of 3rd party apps on their store on Switch while Apple gets nothing despite making the entire platform.

    Another option Apple has is to shut down the App Store in the US, either partially or entirely. The iPhone works perfectly well without a store. The legislation targets companies "that own or control an App Store for which users in the United States exceed 50,000,000". If they keep their US App Store users below 50m, they don't qualify. They can make sure to cover states that vote against the bill and block users in states that vote for it and inform those users if they want access to the store how they can vote for better political candidates.

    There are many options Apple has to counter this, it will drag on for years without any meaningful resolution and it will just cause users problems using their smartphones that they never had problems with before.
    GeorgeBMacwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 14
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 10,731member
    Marvin said:
    rob53 said:
    Time to get full disclosure on contributions from all congressional members on house and senate committees. Remove any with ties to companies against Apple and Google. Probably won’t be any left to serve. 

    We’ve been forced to accept anything Congress dictates without any polling of customers. Congress only does things that makes them money—with a few, very few, exceptions. 
    This is still about Parler for many of them and this is laying the groundwork for future events, just like the legislation to fine social media companies for deplatforming political candidates. If mobile devices can freely install apps, it takes away Apple's ability to remove them even if they violate their guidelines.

    There's also the recent health apps that had to abide by Apple's and Google's privacy measures, they will be able to bypass those protections and implement full device tracking.

    One of the conditions in the legislation is being able to remove preinstalled apps and app stores. If that happens, network carriers will install their own app stores as the default stores like Amazon does with the Kindle. In China, Tencent (major shareholder in Epic) will try to bundle their store as the default on iPhones and the US will lose billions in revenue from China.

    Other app stores will buy their way onto devices the way Epic has done with their PC store. They will spend hundreds of millions on game and app exclusives to encourage users to install that store and then that store has the ability to infect millions of people with malware/adware.

    Apple can prepare for this outcome and develop active threat protection. This would be a piece of software that runs all the time against unvetted software and drains battery life. They can also flag warnings when the apps try to access suspect networks, location tracking or write files into sensitive locations. They can also charge for accessing their device APIs like requests to their OS stack like Metal.

    This kind of legislation is anti-competitive in itself because it would reduce Apple's ability to compete in mobile gaming against companies like Nintendo who would be allowed to continue operating closed stores and who could even setup their own store on iOS. Nintendo would get 100% of the revenue from their own games on iOS and a 30% cut of 3rd party apps on their store on Switch while Apple gets nothing despite making the entire platform.

    Another option Apple has is to shut down the App Store in the US, either partially or entirely. The iPhone works perfectly well without a store. The legislation targets companies "that own or control an App Store for which users in the United States exceed 50,000,000". If they keep their US App Store users below 50m, they don't qualify. They can make sure to cover states that vote against the bill and block users in states that vote for it and inform those users if they want access to the store how they can vote for better political candidates.

    There are many options Apple has to counter this, it will drag on for years without any meaningful resolution and it will just cause users problems using their smartphones that they never had problems with before.

    Thank you.
    ....  That should be an article, not a post.  I hope it graduates up to one!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 14
       This is long overdue and will be welcome for all those who understand the complete power these two companies have.  Apple and Google thrive on the self recognized monopoly they have on us.  Mobile phones in todays world are a lot like cars. You really can't exist without one, every adult in the family has one and you have to pay monthly to keep them going.  Lets imagine a todays parallel car world where there are only 2 car makers, GM and Ford.  Your free to spend huge amounts of money for any of their models.  But you can never....ever enhance the vehicle.  For Ford's vehicles (aka Apple), you can only get oil changes and maintenance from them (and boy is it pricey).  You can only buy tires from them (and boy are they pricey too).  You are limited to only the radio stations that GM and Ford have sanctioned as acceptable and they are taking a nice chunk of change from these broadcasters monthly for the benefit of allowing them access to you. "THEIR" customer.  BTW, they only have sanctioned 3 stations this month.  NPR, the Oprah Winfrey Channel and the newly added "Other people are scary" channel.   You also must pay for your channels via the GM and Ford credit unions.  
      Sure, there will be some downsides including the prevalence of app stores of both the private and carrier versions.  However, it will be my decision to remove them if I want to because I have freedom of choice and it will be up to me to choose whichever one I want. 
      Yes, this is partly the result of shutting down apps based on who you don't agree with politically but the ill will was already there across the spectrum and I feel that just sped up things that were already in motion. 
       Not sure how many remember but once upon a time you could only get telephones from your local telephone carrier office and boy was that place depressing.  Your options were desk or wall phone and you had I believe 3 options for how long the cord was. You did have options from the drab color line of Black, Brown, Olive Green and Orange.   But that was it.  They did not care as they had the right to do whatever they wanted with "their" phone.  You even heard some of the same arguments then that you do today.  Alexander Graham Bell was the capitalist who created the telephone and the patents were passed to his company the bells and because of that we have the right to only give phones to the "right" people.  It wasn't until the bells were broken up that you had innovation in the telecom market.  


  • Reply 13 of 14
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 10,731member
    bsnyder71 said:
       This is long overdue and will be welcome for all those who understand the complete power these two companies have.  Apple and Google thrive on the self recognized monopoly they have on us.  Mobile phones in todays world are a lot like cars. You really can't exist without one, every adult in the family has one and you have to pay monthly to keep them going.  Lets imagine a todays parallel car world where there are only 2 car makers, GM and Ford.  Your free to spend huge amounts of money for any of their models.  But you can never....ever enhance the vehicle.  For Ford's vehicles (aka Apple), you can only get oil changes and maintenance from them (and boy is it pricey).  You can only buy tires from them (and boy are they pricey too).  You are limited to only the radio stations that GM and Ford have sanctioned as acceptable and they are taking a nice chunk of change from these broadcasters monthly for the benefit of allowing them access to you. "THEIR" customer.  BTW, they only have sanctioned 3 stations this month.  NPR, the Oprah Winfrey Channel and the newly added "Other people are scary" channel.   You also must pay for your channels via the GM and Ford credit unions.  
      Sure, there will be some downsides including the prevalence of app stores of both the private and carrier versions.  However, it will be my decision to remove them if I want to because I have freedom of choice and it will be up to me to choose whichever one I want. 
      Yes, this is partly the result of shutting down apps based on who you don't agree with politically but the ill will was already there across the spectrum and I feel that just sped up things that were already in motion. 
       Not sure how many remember but once upon a time you could only get telephones from your local telephone carrier office and boy was that place depressing.  Your options were desk or wall phone and you had I believe 3 options for how long the cord was. You did have options from the drab color line of Black, Brown, Olive Green and Orange.   But that was it.  They did not care as they had the right to do whatever they wanted with "their" phone.  You even heard some of the same arguments then that you do today.  Alexander Graham Bell was the capitalist who created the telephone and the patents were passed to his company the bells and because of that we have the right to only give phones to the "right" people.  It wasn't until the bells were broken up that you had innovation in the telecom market.  



    The reason we have only Apple or Google (phones) in this country is not because we are limited to them but,  because we the people chose them.   With the exception of Huawei, we are free to buy and use any of the hundreds of different phones from around the world.
    ....  The argument of a monopoly is false one.

    I do not buy your argument that we should marginalize the pressure from those who would use disinformation to push their agendas on us while harming our people, society and democracy.

    And, what AT&T offered was state of the art products and services at lowest possible prices to the American people.  Busting that company up was done not improve anything except profit for the likes of MCI (who was trying to skim the cream of long distance service off of AT&T) -- but those scumbags later went bankrupt anyway despite the government busting up their competition (AT&T) to help them. 

    edited August 17
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