CCIA Offers Written Views Ahead Of Senate Judiciary Apps Bill Markup

BY Heather Greenfield
February 2, 2022

Washington – The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to markup Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Marsha Blackurn’s Open Apps Markets Act Thursday. The bill could block current app policies on everything from payments to user privacy and security for some platforms that offer apps. But then it would exempt other big companies and app platforms like Microsoft’s XBox, which restricts options for downloads and payments, from following similar regulations.

The Computer & Communications Industry Association published commentary on this subject and submitted a written statement to the Senate Judiciary expressing concerns about Congress’s approach to apps regulation.The current approach would favor some companies over others, while doing little to promote dynamic competition, innovation and more options for consumers.

In the statement to Senate Judiciary Committee leaders, CCIA Vice President Arthur Sidney wrote that, “These ecosystems have offered customers access to [at least] 2 million aps, the overwhelming majority are free, and support [at least] 2.1 million U.S. jobs. Continuing to provide choices to developers and users fosters competition. Regulations mandating interoperability would require companies to give their intellectual property to others, potentially weaken user privacy,  and would limit the covered companies incentive to innovate.“

CCIA has argued that competition among platforms, including open versus closed systems, allows consumers and app makers more options. The following can be attributed to CCIA President Matt Schruers:

“When a majority of apps are free, and apps earning less than $1 million in sales pay lower fees to platforms, constraints on how app stores recover the costs of maintaining safe, trustworthy, and useful ecosystems, will limit innovation and customer choices. 

“One lesson from the last 50 years of competition policy is that regulations fail when aimed at specific companies, rather than specific behavior. The policies that have made the U.S. an innovation leader are non-sectoral rules of general applicability.  U.S. policy sought to promote competition, not individual competitors. That’s why this bill is so controversial and many apps makers are fighting it.”

Related Articles

Groups Call on Congress to Address Concerns over Economic Harms of Proposed Antitrust Bills

Apr 27, 2022

Washington – A dozen organizations have penned a joint letter to lawmakers Wednesday to express concerns over the economic harms that proposed antitrust legislation will have on American consumers and businesses of all sizes. The broad, diverse, and bipartisan array of signatories includes the Council and the Computer & Communications Industry Association, TechNet, the Small…

ICYMI: Experts Discuss Finding the Right Balance in Competition Enforcement and Start-up Acquisitions

Apr 5, 2022

Washington – FTC Commissioner Noah Phillips gave the keynote address at the Computer & Communications Industry Association’s annual panel on digital competition issues Tuesday ahead of  the American Bar Association (ABA) Antitrust Spring Meeting. Phillips told those at the lunch panel the two biggest antitrust changes he expects under the Biden administration FTC will be…

CCIA’s Statement As Progressive Democrats Release Broader Anti-Merger Legislation

Mar 16, 2022

Washington – Several Democrats have introduced legislation today that would preemptively block many mergers and acquisitions, in particular in the tech industry. According to news reports, the Prohibiting Anticompetitive Mergers Act would completely overhaul the review process of mergers and acquisitions by the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission.  The proposal would allow the…