A bi-partisan regulatory bill “American Innovation and Choice Online Act” is drafted to limit the control of tech giants like Apple, Google, Amazon, and others over their ecosystems and the mobile apps market by barring them from selling devices with pre-installed apps and allowing sideloading.
However, the bill is losing Senate Democrats’ support over concerns that it could have an adverse impact on the upcoming midterm election.
Concerned about losing their majority, Democrats reprieve support for bill that threatens Apple’s control over iOS
POLITICO writes that the aforementioned bill has been the “most serious” attempt by Republicans and Democrats to regulate the influence of the tech industry and it was passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee earlier this year.
However, with only weeks away from voting, the bill is losing support from several Democratic senators who have “deep reservations” over its political gains.
Several Democratic senators have privately expressed deep reservations about voting for the legislation, particularly with a midterm election looming, in their conversations with Schumer and other Democratic offices.
Tech lobbyists have claimed the bill could harm popular products like Amazon Prime or Google Docs. And among vulnerable lawmakers, there’s growing concern that the sweeping legislation is too contentious for an election year and would eat up valuable time Democrats should instead be spending addressing voters’ core concerns.
“We should be focused on items that will help consumers deal with rising costs,” said one Senate aide who criticized the legislation as a “pet project” with little political payoff. “Nobody can quite figure out why it would be a priority.”
The bill is a great threat for Apple as it would permit sideloading on iOS which the tech company is strongly lobbying against. Sideloading would allow third-party developers to offer their own app stores on iOS.
Apple argues that sideloading would remove security barriers like the App Store review process and give easy access to malicious actors’ to poach users’ personal and confidential data. With the bill expected to be revised, Apple can breathe a sigh of relief for now.