On October 14, 2021, a new bipartisan Senate legislation is expected to unveil which would have a drastic impact on Apple and other tech giants. The WSJ reports that the new legislation aims to prohibit tech giants from favoring their own products or service on their platforms.
Earlier this year, a bipartisan group of House members proposed legislation 5 new bills to contain the growing power and market dominance of Apple, Amazon, Google, and Facebook. On the bills was the ‘Ending Platform Monopolies Act’ which aimed to make it unlawful for the tech companies to own any business that flagged conflict of interest. However, those bills faced delay due to strong lobbying by tech giants.
“It shall be unlawful for a covered platform operator to own or control a line of business, other than the covered platform, when the covered platform’s ownership or control of that line of business gives rise to an irreconcilable conflict of interest.”
Despite Apple’s lobbying efforts, a bipartisan group set to propose new regulatory law to end self-preferencing
As per the report, the new legislation would prevent Apple from favoring their own products on their platform like the iOS App Store for apps distribution. The Cupertino tech giant does not allow third-party app stores or sideloading on iPhone and iPad because of real-world threats from malware to steal personal information for blackmail, financial frauds, and other abuses.
But regulators believe that by controlling apps distribution on iOS devices, Apple is abusing its dominant market position by stifling competition. Therefore, they are working to open the iOS platform.
Legislation to bar internet companies from favoring their own products on their platforms is gaining more support, in what could be a potential threat to the business models of tech giants like Amazon.com Inc. and Apple Inc.
Bipartisan Senate legislation set to be unveiled on Thursday would prohibit dominant platforms from favoring their own products or services, a practice known as self-preferencing. It would also bar these dominant platforms from discriminating among business users in a way that materially harms competition.
Apple was recently saved from regulatory measures by the EU Commission where disagreement amongst politicians delayed the implementation of new antitrust laws. But the threat to open iOS to sideloading prevails in the U.S and South Korea. To convince the legislators against the measures, Apple published another security paper detailing the threats of sideloading for consumers, developers, and companies.