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Senator Warren, Blumenthal, and Blackburn team up to introduce a new law for Google and Apple app store

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Shivangi Mujumdar Follow

INDIA

Aug, 14 2021

Aug, 14 2021

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New rules will soon be imposed on dominant App stores as Senator Warren, Blumenthal and Blackburn introduced a bill on Wednesday to rein in the companies.

The Open App Markets Act will place new limits on the operations of Apple and Google app stores and aims to boost competition.

The new bill will protect consumers and app developers by regulating the app stores that force app developers to use their payment system, impose restrictions on apps that offer different pricing and conditions, and keep developers from communicating with app users about “legitimate business offers.”

"I found this predatory abuse of Apple and Google so deeply offensive on so many levels," Blumenthal said in an interview.

He adds, "Their power has reached a point where they are impacting the whole economy in stifling and strangling innovation."

Apple and Google, who are dominant players have a longstanding dispute with app developers because of their predatory abuse, which is now getting public attention.

Top companies like Epic Games, Tinder, Spotify, etc are already at odds with rules imposed on them by Apple stores.

Apple in a statement clarified that its app store “is the cornerstone of our work to connect app developers and customers in a way that is safe and trustworthy. The result has been an unmatched economic growth and innovation.”

Google declined to comment on this new bill. But they have earlier claimed that its Android system gives more flexibility than others. Device makers and carriers can install their own apps alongside Google apps.

Developers have alleged that app stores compete with them by using knowledge of their markets. Spotify has charged that Apple, which has its own music streaming service, “routinely rejects bug fixes and app enhancements that would improve user experience and the app’s functionality” while no such restrictions were levied on its own service.

The bill would also allow apps to be downloaded from third-party app stores. While Google allows apps to be sideloaded, but Apple allows only the app that is installed from their store due to security concerns.

The bill does give Apple and Google to make the case that they continue using their in-app payment systems and other protocol for user privacy or security and prevention of fraudulent activities.


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Shivangi Mujumdar

CBW - External Analyst

INDIA

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