U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) introduced the Open App Markets Act on Wednesday. It targets Big Tech companies like Apple and Google.
Open App Markets Act
The act [PDF] is designed to “set fair, clear, and enforceable rules to protect competition and strengthen consumer protections within the app market.” It’s designed to enable three things:
- Protect developers’ rights to tell consumers about lower prices and offer competitive pricing; protect sideloading of apps
- Open up competitive avenues for startup apps, third party app stores, and payment services
- Make it possible for developers to offer new experiences that take advantage of consumer device features
Apple and Google want to prevent developers and consumers from using third-party app stores that would threaten their bottom line. Their anticompetitive conduct is a direct affront to a free and fair marketplace.
One antitrust argument against Apple is the fact that, not only does it require developers to use its own system for payments, it forbids they add messaging within the app to let users know they could get a different price outside of the App Store.