A new Senate measure is aimed at US app stores to limit the power of behemoths companies such as Apple and Google by tightening restrictions on app developers. The law could benefit Cary-based Epic Games, which has launched antitrust measures against both internet scams over 30% of app purchases, which Epic has called “tax.” In a price dispute last year, Apple blocked Epic’s Fortnite. A decision is also pending in federal court in California.
Corie Wright, Epic VP Games of Public Policy, welcomed the bill. “The introduction of this currency is a major milestone in the ongoing struggle for better digital platforms,” Wright said in a statement. “Its documentation will enable developers to seek licenses for breaches of the Act, which will help level the playing field for small businesses waiting for monopolists to exercise their market power.”
Bilateral rule proposed by Sens. Richard Blumenthal, Amy Klobuchar and Marsha Blackburn will legislate a series of agreements that app developers say they are forced to accept from major app stores in order to reach customers. If enacted, the bill could trigger new collection requirements on major technology platforms; Its offers apply to all app sharing services with more than 50 million users.
Under the bill, Apple – for example – could not need applications to use the iPhone operator’s payment channels to regulate the sale of digital goods and services – a matter that has been embroiled in a major court battle. one between Apple and Epic Games, creator of Fortnite. (A decision is expected in that case this month.) You may be required to allow third-party app stores to run on the iPhone. And Apple cannot restrict app developers from communicating with their users in ways that could be detrimental to its bottom line.
“This fingerprint is a finger in the eye of anyone who buys an iPhone or Android because their phones and app stores are safe, reliable, and easy to use,” said Adam Kovacevich, Director of Advanced Development. “I do not see any customers walking in Washington demanding that Congress let their smartphones dimber. And Congress has better things to do than mediate the dispute — millions of dollars between businesses. ”Small app developers such as Proton – the Swiss company behind the protonMail email service – echoed that sentiment, saying the money would help counter monopolistic practices. became the “big tax on the internet.”
“Proton welcomes the Blumenthal, Blackburn, and Klobuchar Commissions for recognizing these realities, and the introduction of a bill that will launch a new level of innovation,” said Proton CEO Andy Yen. Both technology work on competition in general, and Apple and Google’s app store services in particular.More explorations of the application ecosystem are taking place around the world, including in Europe and the United Kingdom. Earlier this year Klobuchar, the chairman of the Senate antitrust committee, held a meeting to review the app market.Technology has shown that it is an area where Democrats and Republicans have found a place to common, as evidenced by the isolation of the new currency.
“For years, Apple and Google have been beating competitors and keeping consumers in the dark – putting big winds in the bag while acting as the best watchdogs of the $ 1 billion market,” Blumenthal said. in a word. “I am proud to partner with the Blackburn and Klobuchar Seniors in this successful offensive against Big Tech terrorism. This dual separation bill will help break the ironclad clutter of these technology giants, open the app economy to new competitors, and give mobile users more control over their devices. Blackburn said the technology giant’s store rules were “a direct attack on the free and fair market,” and Klobuchar said the money would level the playing field.
In a statement, an Apple spokesman said: “The App Store is the cornerstone of our work to connect developers and customers in a safe and reliable way. At Apple, our focus is on maintaining an App Store where people can be confident that all applications must meet our strict guidelines and that their privacy and security are secure. ”