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Federal app store legislation will weaken consumer safety on our phones

Unfortunately, legislation to regulate online App Stores has forgotten to protect consumers in its crusade to fight businesses. And in doing so, these app store bills have become a form of crony capitalism that clearly favors some businesses over others.

For this reason, NetChoice opposes Senators Blumenthal (D-CT), Klobuchar (D-MN), and Blackburn (R-TN)’s Open App Markets Act because of its inability to protect consumers’ privacy or the quality of these free-for-small-developer distribution services.

“This app store bill intentionally weakens security and privacy protections that millions of Americans rely on to stay safe online,” said Carl Szabo, Vice President and General Counsel of NetChoice. “This bill is not about protecting consumers but instead the government picking winners and losers in a fight between billion-dollar corporations. Huge corporations like Epic Games and Spotify who have consistently lost in court are now using lawmakers to manipulate the rules to gain billions more in profits.”

“Exposing our credit and banking information to bad actors undermines consumer trust in the security of app stores and their payment system. Larger developers can afford security risks, but small developers and up-and-comers can’t and unfortunately will be severely harmed by this bill,” continued Szabo. “This bill would undermine the fight for child safety online by making it harder for parents to insulate their children from in-app purchases and unsavory app downloads.”

“Ultimately, the end result of higher prices, lower-quality offerings, and less innovation is disastrous for the app ecosystem and the consumers who enjoy the vibrant choices available on their smartphones.”

Additionally, check out our recent work on the App Store ecosystem: