A Republican and a Democratic member of the US House of Representatives introduced a bill to curb powerful app stores from companies like Alphabet’s Apple and Google.
The bill supplements a measure introduced this week by a bipartisan trio of senators that would ban major app stores from requiring app providers to use alternative app stores and payment systems.
Representative Ken Buck, the top Republican on the antitrust panel of the House Judiciary Committee, introduced the measure along with Representative Hank Johnson, a Democrat.
“For far too long, companies like Google and Apple have had a stranglehold on app developers who are forced to accept the terms of these monopolists to reach their customers,” Buck said in an emailed statement.
US consumers spent nearly $33 billion (about Rs. 2,45,140 crores) in mobile app stores and downloaded 13.4 billion apps last year, Buck’s office said in a statement.
Apple has previously championed its app store as “an unprecedented engine of economic growth and innovation, one that now supports more than 2.1 million jobs in all 50 states.”
Much is at stake for Apple, whose App Store is anchoring its $53.8 billion (approximately Rs. 3,99,650 crores) services business as the smartphone market matures.
Google has said that Android phones often have two or more app stores preloaded.
The House Judiciary Committee passed six antitrust measures in June, most aimed at curtailing tech giants Google, Amazon, Apple and Facebook.
© Thomson Reuters 2021