Digital Monopoly giants like Google are begging the public to save them from the new Congress Bills
On August 13th, 2021, two U.S. House members, (Republican Representative Ken Buck of the House Judiciary Committee antitrust panel and Democratic Representative Hank Johnson) introduced a bill targeting Apple and Google app stores.
A few days earlier on August 11, 2021, Democratic Senators Richard Blumenthal and Amy Klobuchar teamed up with Republican Senator Marsha Blackburn to sponsor a bill, which would bar big app stores from requiring app providers to use their payment system. It would also prohibit them from punishing apps that offer different prices or conditions through another app store or payment system, like Epic Games did with Fortnite.
These two bills could curtail the abusive power and control many feel Apple and Google weild against developers, creators and small businesses.
Apple has previously defended its app store as, "an unprecedented engine of economic growth and innovation, one that now supports more than 2.1 million jobs across all 50 states."
Google declined to comment, but a spokeswoman cited previous company statements that Android devices often come preloaded with two or more app stores and that app sellers can allow downloads without using Google's Play Store.
App makers like music streaming service Spotify, Match.Com who owns the Tinder app, Epic Games the creators of Fortnite who were embroiled in an, "epic" lawsuit against Apple earlier this year and Tile an app who makes tags to find lost objects are among the many companies who have long complained that mandatory revenue sharing for sales of digital goods and strict inclusion rules set by Apple's App Store for iPhones and iPads, along with Google's Play store for Android devices, amount to anticompetitive behavior.
"For far too long, companies like Google and Apple have had a stranglehold on app developers who are forced to take whatever terms these monopolists set in order to reach their customers," Republican Representative Ken Buck stated. - Reuters
On October 28th, 2021 and again on November 9th, 2021 - Google sent out a mass email to their members who use their Gmail, Google My Business, Google Workspaces, Google Analytics and other services - requesting the public's help with these new bills.
The email from Google indicates the proposed changes would cost their members, "time and money" and does not mention the purpose behind the bills which is to reduce Google and Apple's monopoly over digital revenue.
"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." -Reuters
Google continues in both of their emails from October and November, "If passed, these bills could disrupt many of the digital tools you rely on every day – including Google Ads and Analytics, Gmail and Docs, and your business listing on Search and Maps. These changes could make it harder for customers to find your business and could hurt your productivity."
And then leaves a single button link that automatically subscribes the member to Google's updates with the message, "By clicking this button I consent that Google can contact me about legislative and regulatory issues, events, and advocacy opportunities related to my business."
What are your thoughts on these new bills?
Here at TNW Creations, we want to see more opportunities for all businesses and fewer opportunities alloted to just a few businesses who already have a gratuitous hold on success. We say no to monopolies. What do you say? Drop us a comment on LinkedIn and let us know your thoughts on the upcoming bills and the current apparent control Apple and Google have over App stores and the App stores payment process.
I've been programming, designing, writing and publishing professionally online since 1995. I've worn many hats throughout my life, but the common core of my career has always been media. Besides theportfolio you see on TNW Creations, my internet presence has been substantial for over 2 decades. In 1995, while still in college, I founded TNW Creations and became part of the grassroots development for teaching the Lakhota language online. By 2004, my bilingual work was listed on many sites, including National Geographic , Encarta and Touchstone Pictures Hidalgo. When I'm not developing and writing, you'll find me managing MagicStoryLand.Com, creating kid-friendly game & video content, investigating and initating hostile website takedowns, posting salty articles about cyber threats, moderating UnifyLife.Org and enjoying my community, church & family.