Tuesday, May 24, 2022

U.S. Senate panel advances bill targeting Google, Apple app stores power

A bill aimed at reining in Apple’s and Google’s app store market power advanced out of the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday with support from all members of the panel except Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas). 

Other Republicans on the committee, as well as two California Democrats, expressed similar concerns as Cornyn regarding potential cybersecurity issues, though they voted to advance the bill, known as the Open App Marks Act, anyway.

It is the second major antitrust bill the committee has advanced so far this year, following the positive vote on the American Choice and Online Innovation Act last month. Although the Open App Marks Act advanced Thursday with even broader committee support, the ongoing concerns may pose hurdles for the bill if called for a full Senate floor vote.  

Proponents of the bill, which is co-sponsored by a group of bipartisan senators, say it would provide guardrails for tech giants they argue are operating as gatekeepers and stifling competition through restrictive app store rules. Read more »