Big tech in the crosshairs of the US Congress
Big tech in the crosshairs of the US Congress
World News

Big tech in the crosshairs of the US Congress

By Vincenzo Cacioppoli - 7 Feb 2022

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The Justice Committee of the US Senate approved on Thursday its second bill on technological competition, highlighting the issue concerning Apple and Google app stores and the restrictions imposed on developers. The work of the US Congress threatens to cause problems for big tech, Google and Apple in particular.

The Open App Markets Act

The vote pushes forward the process of the Open App Markets Act, which if approved could change many of the rules of the app stores of the big tech giants such as Google and Apple, creating many problems for a business that is constantly growing and that represents a significant portion of the profits of the two companies.

According to the specialized research company App Annie, global spending on iOS, Google Play and Android app stores has exceeded $133 billion in value, of which about $85 billion comes from downloads on Apple’s app store versus $48 billion from the Google Play app store.

This law could deal a major blow to the monopoly that the two app stores maintain in the app market. The law could force the two tech giants to make room for third-party app stores, sideloading and alternative payments, greatly reducing profits from the business, which has benefited for years from the lack of serious regulation of the sector.

Apple store

Apple avverte dei rischi per la sicurezza con la nuova legge sugli app store
Apple warns of security risks with new law on app stores

The risks of the new law according to US big tech companies

Apple, in particular, has warned lawmakers about the risks of allowing third parties to download apps and especially giving the green light to sideloading (allowing apps to be downloaded through two connected mobile devices), arguing that this could increase the risk of “malware, fraud and data exploitation”.

Moreover, according to the two tech giants, there would be serious risks from the point of view of user privacy. These very indications coming from the two tech giants have convinced some senators to propose amendments to the bill, which then could arrive for final approval correctly, to favor the security and privacy of users.

″This bill could destroy many consumer benefits that current payment systems provide and distort competition by exempting gaming platforms, which amounts to Congress trying to artificially pick winners and losers in a highly competitive marketplace”,

said Mark Isakowitz, vice president of government affairs and public policy at Google.

Big tech vs developers

The legislation has garnered repeated complaints from some app developers, such as Spotify for music, Epic Games for games, Match for dating and Basecamp for teamwork, who accuse the web giants of using unfair practices to their exclusive advantage for greater profits, thanks to their near-exclusivity in the app store sector. But not everyone thinks so. The App Association, which gathers hundreds of small American developers, has written a letter to Congress expressing its opposition to the law because of the risks related to privacy and security.

It remains to be seen whether the lobbies of the two tech giants will be stronger or those representing app developers, or at least those opposed to the monopolistic practices of Google and Apple.

 

Vincenzo Cacioppoli

Vincenzo was born in Genova but lived most of his life in Milan. He has a degree in political science. He is a journalist, blogger, writer, and marketing and digital advertising expert. After a long experience in traditional marketing, he started working with the web and digital advertising in 2011, creating a company called Le enfants. Passionate about the web and innovation, in 2018 he started exploring the topics related to blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. Independent cryptocurrency trader since March 2018, he now collaborates with companies in the sector as a content marketing specialist. In his blog. mediateccando.blogspot.com, he has long been primarily focused on blockchain, which he considers to be the greatest technological innovation after the Internet. His first book about blockchain and fintech is scheduled for release in November.

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