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Senate bill to strip Apple and Google of full control over in-game payments

Bipartisan group of U.S. Senators introduced legislation it aims to change the way app markets operate in the US. The bill, drafted by Senators Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee and sponsored by Amy Klobuchar, chairman of the Senate Antitrust Committee, “will prevent app stores from disadvantaging developers.”

IN Open Application Markets Act reads like a wishlist advocated by bands like the Coalition for App Fairness in their fight against Apple and Google. Therefore, it is not surprising that the organization came out in support of the proposed law. One of the most notable provisions included in the current version of the bill is a clause that prohibits owners of app marketplaces from forcing third-party developers to use their payment system. Another provision, aimed almost exclusively at Apple, forces platform owners to allow consumers to download software and install third-party app stores.

Payment systems have been a major problem in the recent antitrust movement. Apple removed Epic Games from the App Store after the studio implemented a method FortnitPlayers avoid the 30 percent commission. Meanwhile, at the end of 2020, Google announced that it would give developers the opportunity to bring their apps in line with the Play Store billing system by the end of this year.

“The legislation will help create a more competitive app market that will drive innovation in the digital economy and provide more opportunities for American consumers,” the App Equity Coalition said in a statement.

Outside CAF, the bill is supported by organizations such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Internet Accountability Project. Of course, the introduction of legislation and its adoption are two different things. You can rest assured that Apple and Google will lobby for a relaxation of the Open App Markets Act as it threatens their way of doing business.

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