WASHINGTON: A bipartisan group of US lawmakers introduced a bill to curb the monopolistic policies of Apple and Google regarding their respective app stores which, they claim, hinder free competition.
The initiative aims to bar app store companies from forcing app developers to exclusively use Apple or Google payment systems to sell their products.
It would also allow app developers to notify customers that they can purchase products elsewhere at a lower price, as well as ensuring that users have access to alternative ways to install applications on their mobile devices apart from the App Store or Google Play.
“I found this predatory abuse of Apple and Google so deeply offensive on so many levels… Their power has reached a point where they are impacting the whole economy in stifling and strangling innovation,” one of the lawmakers behind the initiative, US Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal, said in an interview on Wednesday, as cited by Reuters.
The bill was submitted to Congress, but Blumenthal says he expects companion legislation to pass in the House of Representatives soon.
Both Apple and Google have increasingly come under scrutiny from lawmakers. A federal judge is currently reviewing an antitrust lawsuit against Apple by ‘Fortnite’ creator Epic Games. The game developer also sued Google for its app store practices, as did a large group of states in a separate anti-monopoly case last month.