The Open App Markets Act hopes to kick down both Apple and Google’s walled garden
The Future. Apple and Google’s duopoly in the app marketplace may get broken up thanks to a new bill called the Open App Markets Act. While many customers may still stick with the App Store and Google Play Store for ease of use and privacy protections, the new rules could open a floodgate of litigation against Apple and Google… or even affect in-progress cases, like Epic’s appealed suit against Apple for removing Fortnite from its store.
Fast Company reports that a new bill wants to open up the app marketplace in a big way.
- Just formally introduced to Congress, the Open App Markets Act would stop Apple and Google from forcing apps to “use or enable in-app purchases” through their proprietary stores as a condition for being allowed in them.
- It would stop Apple and Google from penalizing apps that offer better prices on another marketplace.
- It would allow developers to contact their customers directly with business offers and other discounts.
- iOS and Android devices will no longer be allowed to automatically route to their own app stores.
- And, of course, Apple and Google would have to allow third-party marketplaces, like Epic’s or Steam’s, to run on their devices.
All of this is to get around Apple’s and Google’s 30% app tax (which drops down to 15% in the second year for different kinds of publishers), putting a lot more money in the hands of developers.
Unsurprisingly, Apple and Google are already lobbying against the bill, as both companies could feel a major impact in their services division — a big area of growth for Apple, especially. And to throw salt on the wound, Apple may even get hit with an antitrust lawsuit by the Department of Justice. When it rains, it pours.