Earlier this week, a group of bipartisan US senators introduced a sweeping piece of legislation taking aim at Apple’s App Store. The US House of Representatives is now following suit, with a group of bipartisan representatives introducing a similar companion bill dubbed the Open App Markets Act.
As reported by Reuters, the bill is backed by Ken Buck, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee antitrust panel, and democrat Hank Johnson. The legislation would allow app developers to inform customers that applications might be available at lower prices from other sources. It would also force Apple to open the iPhone to third-party app stores and alternative payment solutions, something currently prohibited by the App Store Guidelines.
Spotify has been quick to show its support for the new legislation. In a statement to 9to5Mac, Spotify praised the measures and said that Apple has used iOS and the App Store to “insulate itself from competition and disadvantage rivals” for too long:
“Spotify commends Representatives Johnson, Buck, and Cicilline for their bipartisan, steadfast commitment to protecting consumers, developers, and the digital economy. Apple has used the iOS platform and its App Store policies to insulate itself from competition and disadvantage rivals for far too long. By introducing the Open App Markets Act in both chambers of Congress, we’re one important step closer to curbing Apple’s anticompetitive behavior, leveling the playing field, and restoring competition for all.”
In a statement to Reuters, Rep. Buck said that “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.”
With bipartisan support from the both the House and the Senate, the antitrust pressure continues to increase in regards to the App Store. Whether or not anything substantive comes out of these measures remains to be seen.
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