The Wall Street Journal reports that the U.S Department of Justice (DOJ) has endorsed the “American Innovation and Choice Online Act” which aims to limit the control of Apple, Amazon, Google, and other tech giants on their ecosystems and their influence on the mobile apps market.
In 2019, U.S. Congress began an investigation to see if tech giants like Apple, Google, Amazon, and others were guilty of anticompetitive behavior. After the committee found that tech companies’ practices were “deeply disturbing”, it tried to pass a single antitrust bill to address the identified issues. However, the committee resolved to pass multiple antitrust bills seeking to remove the unfair advantage tech companies enjoy at the expense of smaller developers.
Apple, Google, and Amazon might be barred from selling devices with their own pre-installed apps
Apple and Google are already facing an antitrust bill that is pushing to allow sideloading on iOS and Android platforms. And now with DOJ backing the “American Innovation and Choice Online Act”, it is possible that Apple, Google, and Amazon are barred from selling their products with their own pre-installed apps. The report writes:
The letter, obtained by The Wall Street Journal, expresses support for the American Innovation and Choice Online Act.
“Discriminatory conduct by dominant platforms can sap the rewards from other innovators and entrepreneurs, reducing the incentives for entrepreneurship and innovation,” the letter says. “Even more importantly, the legislation may support the growth of new tech businesses adjacent to the platforms, which may ultimately pose a critically needed competitive check to the covered platforms themselves.”
The bills supplement existing antitrust laws by clarifying what kinds of conduct Congress views as anticompetitive and illegal, the letter adds, noting that “doing so would enhance the ability of the DOJ and [the Federal Trade Commission] to challenge that conduct.”
It must also be kept in mind that support of the DOJ increases the chances of the bill being passed but it is not guaranteed.