There has been growing momentum against the strict control Apple and Google exert on its platform and the store that delivers their apps, but so far there has not been much success, with legal challenges to the duopoly repeatedly failing in state legislatures.
Now the battle has moved on to the next level, with a new bipartisan Senate bill sponsored by Democratic Senators Richard Blumenthal and Amy Klobuchar and Republican Senator Marsha Blackburn.
The bill would seek to bar big app stores from requiring app providers to use their payment system and also prohibit them from punishing apps that offer different prices or conditions through another app store or payment system.
“I found this predatory abuse of Apple and Google so deeply offensive on so many levels,” Blumenthal said in an interview Wednesday. “Their power has reached a point where they are impacting the whole economy in stifling and strangling innovation.”
A companion bill is expected in the House of Representatives soon.
Apple declined to comment while Google noted that most Android phones come with two app stores, which allowed users to access apps without Google’s involvement.