There is a bipartisan group of American senators introduced law which seeks to reshape the functioning of the U.S. application market. Written by Senators Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee and co-sponsored by Amy Klobuchar, chairman of the Senate Antitrust Subcommittee, the proposed law “would prevent app applications from being disadvantaged by developers.”
The Open Market Applications Act reads as a wish list a group of items like Coalition for Fairness Applications which they advocated in their fight against Apple and Google. It is therefore not surprising that the organization came out in support of the proposed law. One of the most important provisions contained in the current iteration of the law is a clause that would prohibit application market owners from forcing third-party developers to use the payment system they own. Another provision intended almost exclusively for Apple would force platform owners to allow consumers to monitor software and install third-party app stores.
Payment systems are one of the issues at the heart of the recent antitrust movement. Apple kicked out Epic Games from the App Store after the studio implemented the way to FortnitPlayers will bypass his 30 percent fee. Google, meanwhile, announced in late 2020 that it will allow developers to build their apps by the end of this year in accordance with the payment system in the Play Store.
“The law would help create a more competitive application market that will ignite innovation in the digital economy and provide more opportunities for U.S. consumers,” the Coalition for Application Fairness said in a statement.
Outside the CAF, organizations such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Internet Accountability Project support the bill. Of course, the introduction of laws and their enactment are two very different things. You can be sure that Apple and Google will lobby to mitigate the Open Apps Market Act because it jeopardizes the way they do business.
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