The bipartisan bill targets the ability of Apple and Google to profit from the app store

The new bipartisan bill announced on Wednesday aims to bring more competition to the currently dominated app store market. Apple When Google..

The Open App Market Act, led by Senator Marsha Blackburn (Tennessee), Richard Blumenthal (Connecticut) and Amy Klobuchar (Minnesota), will shake the business model and structure of both companies’ app stores. Of their mobile operating system.

The bill partially covers in-app payment systems for companies that own an app store with more than 50 million users in the United States. The bill does not allow companies such as Apple or Google to condition the distribution of apps on apps. Saves whether the developer is using an in-app payment system.

It also prohibits developers from communicating with app users about “legitimate business offers” or punishing developers for using different pricing terms through another system. Developers are complaining about not being able to advertise the low prices that customers can receive from the app. This allows you to avoid app store charges.

The bill aims to prevent app stores from penalizing certain developers and allow third-party app stores. Third-party app stores are available to Google’s Android users, but Apple only allows apps to be downloaded from their store.

The bill also allows you to sideload your app. This means you don’t have to download the app from the official app store. In particular, Apple has expressed concern that sideloading could expose consumer phones to security vulnerabilities.

The law leaves room for Apple and Google to argue that in-app payment systems and other tools and protocols are needed for security purposes. The bill states that if user privacy and security, fraud prevention efforts, or measures to comply with federal or state law are required, the platform covered by the law will not be violated.

App developers have complained in parliament and court that Apple and Google have a solid grasp of their business by managing the app store, which is the gatekeeper for mobile app consumer access. Epic Games and Spotify Have There was a problem with company fees About purchases made by customers with the app.

For example, Apple will reduce 15% to 30% of payments customers pay to upgrade to Spotify Premium via the iOS app. Apple also prevents businesses from advertising through apps that allow customers to get lower prices by purchasing through another channel so that developers can avoid charges.

Apple and Google have stated that fees charged for app purposes are a market standard and that building and running an app store to operate is expensive. Many developers do not object to paying some fees to cover those costs, but say the current ones are unreasonably high.

Developers have also begun to argue that app store operators are competing with market knowledge. For example, Spotify is one of Apple’s loudest opponents, offering its own competing music streaming service. Spotify Charged Apple “regularly rejects bug fixes and app enhancements that improve the user experience and app functionality,” while refusing to put such “faults” in front of its services.

The Open App Markets Act prohibits large app store operators from competing with private business information from third-party apps. It also prohibits these companies from “unfairly prioritizing or ranking” their apps or business partner apps over other apps.

Under this bill, the Federal Trade Commission and the State Attorney General can take action on the platform. Developers also have the right to seek injunctive relief.

Apple and Google representatives couldn’t comment immediately.

Corie Wright, vice president of public policy at Epic Games, which is currently suing Apple, Google and the app store, said the bill was “a key milestone in the ongoing battle for a fairer digital platform.” He said there was.

“The passage will allow developers to seek injunctions against violations of the law, which will help level the competition for SMEs to confront monopolies that are abusing market power,” Wright said. Said. “This makes it easier for developers of all sizes to challenge these harmful practices and seek relief from retaliation, whether in proceedings or simply because they have made bold statements.”

Spotify’s Chief Legal Officer, Horacio Gutierrez, also praised the bill in a statement.

“These platforms control more commerce, information and communications than ever before, and the power they exercise has a significant economic and social impact,” he said. “That’s why we urge Congress to pass the Open App Markets Act quickly. Without action, Apple and other companies will continue to change their rules in favor of their own services, consumers, developers and digital. It is expected to cause further harm to the economy. “”

Subscribe to CNBC on YouTube.

See: Apple’s fight against Epic Games is part of a larger antitrust battle The bipartisan bill targets the ability of Apple and Google to profit from the app store

Back to top button