US Senate Introduces Bill to Limit App Store Powers

Last week, the US Senate introduced a new bill that would limit the amount of power Apple and Google have over their respective app markets.

The bill, which is titled the ‘Open Markets Act’, would ban the technology giants from forcing developers to use their payment systems. This would allow the developers to offer discounts to consumers as they no longer have to pay a mandatory 30% commission on every purchase.

US Senator Richard Blumenthal told The Verge: “For years, Apple and Google have squashed competitors and kept consumers in the dark, pocketing hefty windfalls while acting as supposedly benevolent gatekeepers of this multi-billion dollar market.

“This bipartisan bill will help break these tech giants’ ironclad grip, open the app economy to new competitors, and give mobile users more control over their own devices.”

The Coalition For App Fairness, which counts Match Group as a founding member, welcomed the bill and called it “a step towards holding big tech companies accountable”.

Apple and Google intend to fight the new bill, stating their measures are in place to ensure every app on the market adheres to rigorous guidelines and is as safe as possible. There’s also a belief that products on the market could decrease in quality as a result.

Match Group’s Chief Legal Officer Jared Sine testified against the two companies in April and accused them of ruling with an iron first, threatening to kick apps off the stores if they didn’t comply with rules.

He also explained that app store fees are the online dating company’s biggest expense, paying out over $500 million.

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