Wednesday, August 25, 2021 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Open App Markets Act

Richard Blumenthal (Hacker News):

New bipartisan antitrust legislation that targets Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store was today introduced by U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal, Marsha Blackburn, and Amy Klobuchar.

The Open App Markets Act [PDF] is meant to create “fair, clear, and enforceable rules” that will protect competition and strengthen consumer protections. According to the three senators, Apple and Google have “gatekeeper control” of the two main mobile operating systems and their app stores, allowing them to dictate the terms of the app market.

Under the terms of the bill, which applies to companies that own or control an App Store with more than 50,000,000 users, Apple would not be able to require developers to use its own in-app purchase system, and it would be required to allow developers to distribute apps through alternative app stores.

Jon Brodkin:

The Chamber of Progress’ website lists 20 “corporate partners,” with Apple and Google being the most relevant ones in this case. Amazon, Facebook, and Twitter are also funders.

[…]

But the group’s lobbying against the new app-store legislation neatly matches the positions of Apple and Google, which have been fighting attempts to make their mobile operating systems more open. Apple issued a statement yesterday that conveyed the same basic message in a less combative way. “At Apple, our focus is on maintaining an App Store where people can have confidence that every app must meet our rigorous guidelines and their privacy and security is protected,” the company said, according to CNBC.

Emily Birnbaum (tweet):

Apple’s aggressive lobbying efforts in Georgia, the extent of which were previously unreported, highlight a pattern that has played out with little national attention across the country this year: State lawmakers introduce bills that would force Apple and its fellow tech giant Google to give up some control over their mobile phone app stores. Then Apple, in particular, exerts intense pressure on lawmakers with promises of economic investment or threats to pull its money, and the legislation stalls.

[…]

When Georgia legislators introduced a pair of app store bills in early February, Apple immediately hired five new lobbyists to advocate against the legislation in the state. And during the frenzied debate following the bill’s introduction, Apple lobbyists told legislators that the company could pull out of two important economic development projects in Georgia — a $25 million investment in a historically Black college in Atlanta and a potential multibillion-dollar partnership with Kia to build autonomous vehicles in the city of West Point — if the legislation went through, according to two people familiar with the conversations.

[…]

Apple denied making statements about pulling back on investments. The threats in Georgia came from third-party Apple lobbyists, said one of the people familiar with the conversations.

Previously:

1 Comment

"Apple denied making statements about pulling back on investments. The threats in Georgia came from third-party Apple lobbyists..."

Oh, that's rich.

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