Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee marked up the “Open App Markets Act.” The bill, introduced by Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), passed out of the committee with a landslide bipartisan vote.
The bill would prohibit a host of anticompetitive conduct by dominant app store operators and is in line with recommendations in Public Knowledge’s recent white paper, “Tending the Garden: How to Ensure That App Stores Put Users First.” Public Knowledge advocates to preserve the benefits of app stores while minimizing the downsides of excessive gatekeeper control.
The following can be attributed to John Bergmayer, Legal Director at Public Knowledge:
“It is great to see Congress taking action to reign in digital gatekeepers. Mobile devices are the main way many people communicate, shop, get informed, and stay entertained. For users to access the information and services they want, mobile platforms should operate in a fair and nondiscriminatory way, and not favor their own offerings, or those of their partners, over those of competitors.
“The Open App Markets Act ensures this openness for users and independent developers – all without weakening user security or privacy. We commend Sens. Blumenthal, Blackburn, and Klobuchar for their efforts to foster an app market that gives consumers more choice and lower prices without compromising on security, and are happy to see the bill pass out of committee on such a strong, bipartisan basis.
“While we continue to advocate for a digital regulator that is able to balance the needs of competition, security, privacy, and user control, focused bills like this one can address real harms right away. Bills with overwhelming bipartisan support, such as ‘The Open App Markets Act’ and the recently passed ‘American Innovation and Choice Online Act,’ should become law as quickly as possible.”
You may view our recent white paper, “Tending the Garden: How to Ensure that App Stores Put Users First,” to learn more about our recommendations to promote the public interest in the app store market
Members of the media may contact Communications Director Shiva Stella with inquiries, interview requests, or to join the Public Knowledge press list at firstname.lastname@example.org or 405-249-9435.