A bill has been proposed to restrict Apple and Google from generating profits through app stores
According to CNBC, a group of bipartisan senators proposed the “Open App Market Act.” The bill targeted Apple and Google for app stores with more than 50 million users in the U.S. Under the bill, Apple and Google cannot force their own payment systems to collect sales fees from developers. Also, app store operators who control operating systems like Apple and Google should guide and allow users to download apps from other app stores.
The goal of the bill is to promote competition in the app store market dominated by Apple and Google.
Apple and Google had to use their payment system to purchase content from apps downloaded from their app stores, and took up to 30 percent commission. Apple has been criticized for preventing it from purchasing apps outside of its own app store. In response, the two companies argued that charging fees is necessary to operate app stores, protect personal information, and prevent fraud. “Appstore is a cornerstone to connect developers and customers in a safe and reliable way,” Apple said when the bill was proposed. “Appstore has become the engine of unprecedented economic growth and innovation, and it supports more than 2.1 million jobs across the United States.”
Epic Games, which filed an anti-trust lawsuit against Apple’s fee policy, welcomed it. “The bill will help create a level playing field for small companies that abuse their market power,” said Cory Wright, vice president of public policy at Epic Games. “All developers of all sizes challenge harmful practices and are more likely to be regulated from retaliation.” Spotify, which also raised the issue of Apple’s fee policy, also said, “We urge Apple and other companies to pass the bill quickly, otherwise changing the rules in favor of their services, which could further damage consumers, developers and the digital economy.”