WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rick VanMeter, Executive Director of the Coalition for App Fairness (CAF), released the following statement after the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) published their report on Competition in the Mobile Application Ecosystem.
“NTIA’s findings serve as yet another reminder that the mobile app marketplace is broken. The report makes clear that Apple and Google leverage their outsized market power to hinder competition, deter innovation, and impose unfair terms of service and excessive fees, harming developers and consumers alike.
“Our members welcome NTIA’s recommended solutions, including giving consumers more choices in how they access and make payments within apps on their phones, to help level the playing field for everyone in the mobile app ecosystem. As the report states, arguments made by Apple and Google regarding privacy and security are unjustifiable excuses to maintain their monopolies, and new legislation is required to sufficiently inject competition into the app ecosystem. We are committed to the passage of the Open App Markets Act – legislation that will help bring NTIA’s recommendations to bear and finally fix the broken mobile app marketplace – and will continue to be relentless advocates for the bill in the 118th Congress.”
The full report can be found here, and the NTIA’s recommendations are available below:
- Consumers should have more control over their devices. They should be able to choose their own apps as defaults, use alternative mobile app stores, and delete or hide pre-installed apps.
- App store operators should not be able to “self-preference” their apps in an anticompetitive manner. Operators should not be able to favor their own apps in how they appear in search results or discriminate against other apps that are similar to their own.
- Operators should lift restrictions on alternative ways for consumers to download and install apps. While still preserving appropriate latitude for privacy and security safeguards, legislative and regulatory measures should prohibit restrictions on sideloading, alternative app stores and web apps.
- Addressing limits on in-app purchasing options. This can be done by banning requirements that developers use the app store operators’ in-app payment system.
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 70 members since launching in September 2020. CAF offers membership to companies of any size — join today at appfairness.org.
February 1, 2023