WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, industry-leading CEOs of the online digital marketplace and members of the Coalition for App Fairness (CAF) wrote a letter to Senate Judiciary Chairman Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-IA) urging them to support passing the bipartisan Open App Markets Act ahead of next week’s committee mark-up. This bipartisan proposal, introduced by Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), would help create a more competitive app marketplace, igniting innovation and providing more choices for American consumers.
The Open App Markets Act would directly address the monopolistic, anti-competitive practices by app store providers. The proposal would also enhance competition in the app marketplace by preventing self-preferencing and allowing open communication between developers and consumers.
A copy of the letter to Senators Durbin and Grassley is below:
January 27, 2022
The Honorable Chairman Dick Durbin
711 Hart Senate Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
The Honorable Chuck Grassley
135 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
CC: U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary
Dear Senators Durbin and Grassley,
As industry leaders and members of the Coalition for App Fairness (CAF), we write to express our strong support for the Open App Markets Act (S. 2710) introduced by Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN). We urge you to support this important bill and pass it out of committee.
Fair and open competition is the driving force behind a well-functioning free market. But today, mobile app marketplace gatekeepers use a vice-like grip to control developers and impose terms and conditions that undermine competition, throttle innovation, limit consumer choice, and lead to higher prices. They eliminate competition by restricting developers from using alternative methods of app distribution, and then mandate that developers use their payment systems to extract excessive fees, limit competitors’ access to information, gain access to troves of developer’s customer data to build competing services, and dictate how developers can communicate with their own customers through their apps, including prohibiting developers from informing users of lower prices outside of the app.
The bipartisan, bicameral Open App Markets Act is targeted to address these anticompetitive practices that harm consumers and innovators. This legislation would directly benefit consumers, strengthening choice and freedom. Additionally, the bill would remove barriers app store platforms place between developers and users, allowing companies to communicate directly with their customers. Consumers would be able to download apps from the app store of their choice, choose their own default apps, and make it easier to remove pre-installed software.
We appreciate the leadership of Senators Blumenthal, Blackburn, and Klobuchar on this critical issue and applaud Chairman Durbin and Ranking Member Grassley for moving this commonsense, bipartisan legislation forward. We urge you to support the Open App Markets Act to promote a free, fair, and competitive app marketplace.
Thank you for your consideration.
Curiosity Media Inc., CEO
fitDEGREE, Founder and CEO
Match Group, CEO
Spotify, Founder and CEO
FlickType, Founder and CEO
David Heinemeier Hansson
Basecamp, Co-Founder and CEO
Masimo, Founder, Chairman and CEO
Paddle.com, Founder and CEO
ImagineBC, Founder and CEO
Down Dog, Founder and CEO
Blockchain.com, Inc., Co-founder and CEO
Epic Games, Founder and CEO
Agrin Health, CEO
Grove Street Games, Founder and CEO
Knitrino, Co-founder and CEO
Proton AG, Founder and CEO
About the Coalition for App Fairness
The Coalition for App Fairness is an independent nonprofit organization formed to protect consumer choice, foster competition, and create a level playing field for all app and game developers globally. Originally formed by Basecamp, Blix, Blockchain.com, Deezer, Epic Games, the European Publishers Council, Match Group, News Media Europe, Prepear, Proton, Skydemon, Spotify, and Tile, CAF has rapidly grown from 13 to over 60 members since launching in September 2020. CAF offers membership to companies of any size — join today at appfairness.org.