Apple has been facing a lot of scrutiny from antitrust legislators who are investigating the company’s policies and rules for anti-competitive behavior. Bloomberg reports that a new antitrust bill would “prohibit” Apple from preventing users from deleting pre-installed apps. Introduced last week, the bill aims to restrict tech giants from giving an advantage to their own apps. Therefore, the legislation will also apply to Amazon’s Prime subscription.
The company’s competitors, Spotify (a Swedish music streaming service) and Tile (an American electronic tracker manufacturer) have filed cases against the accompanying accusing it of creating a monopoly. After the launch of AirTag, Tile CEO CJ Prober said that Apple has hindered his company’s work over the years by introducing the changes on iOS which make it more difficult for users to set up Tile products. Spotify Chief Legal Officer Horacio Gutierrez called Apple a “ruthless bully that uses its dominance to hobble competitors” and that “Apple’s ability to strangle its competitors is unprecedented.”
Under the new Bill, Apple will have to permit users to remove its pre-installed apps
Democratic Representative David Cicilline said that this law would limit big tech companies from pushing their products over competitors and give consumers choice. Another Rhode Island Democrat said, “It would be equally easy to download the other five apps as the Apple one so they’re not using their market dominance to favor their own products and services.”
The report explains that:
The bill contains a provision that would prohibit Apple, for example, from restricting or impeding iPhone users from uninstalling apps that have been pre-installed, but this provision doesn’t prohibit Apple from pre-installing apps in the first place.
The bill would also prevent platforms from changing default settings that direct users to products offered by the platform, according to text of the legislation.
Expressing that companies can not make a monopoly by making it “impossible” for consumers to use the same service and the law will also apply to other tech giants.
“Cicilline said the self-prefrencing prohibition would also apply to Amazon.com Inc.’s Prime subscription service because it disadvantages some sellers who rely on the e-commerce platform.
When asked whether Microsoft Corp., which was subject to an epic antitrust case in the 1990s, would be subject to the measures, Cicilline said it would be up to the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission to make that determination. The legislation sets out several criteria, including at least 50 million monthly active users in the U.S. and a market captitalization of $600 billion.”
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