What you need to know
- Nine app developers have created a new lobby group independent of one backed by Apple and Google.
- The group is called 'The App Coalition'.
- Its purpose is to lobby Congress on the importance of apps as part of the economy.
Nine app developers have created a new lobbying group independent from Apple, Google, and Microsoft, as they seek to lobby congress on the importance of the app ecosystem to the economy.
Nine mobile app companies are launching a new trade group to weigh in on the nation's most controversial tech policy issues, banding together to assert their independence from Apple Inc. and Alphabet Inc.'s Google. Booking Holdings Inc.'s Priceline, OpenTable Inc. and Kayak, along with Perry Street Software, which operates dating applications, are among the founding members of the App Coalition. The group kicked off its operations Wednesday calling on Congress to ensure that startups can access loans and grants designed to help small businesses weather the coronavirus pandemic.
CEO of Perry Street, Eric Silverberg said in a statement that it was important "that Congress recognizes that the multi-billion dollar app ecosystem remains vital as part of the overall efforts to restart and rebuild the economy." The report notes that The App Coalition's 'main trade group competition is ACT-The App association', which is financially backed by Apple and Microsoft.
"The difference between our group and that group is that they're funded by Apple, Microsoft and a host of other large technology and platform companies," said Michael Drobac, a senior advisor of McGuireWoods Consulting LLC, the lobbying firm running the coalition. "We hope we have the same agenda and we look forward to working with them. That's not where the funding for this is going to come from."
One notable founding member of the breakaway group is Blix, who have repeatedly clashed heads with Apple over its BlueMail app, which it claims Apple buried within App Store search results to suppress its app. It also accused Apple of removing it from the store altogether, and 'sherlocking' one of its own features to create 'Sign in with Apple'. Blix has previously called upon other app developers to rise up against Apple regarding sherlocking, and its inclusion in this group may indicate that it has been set up due to something akin to 'creative differences.'
Apparently, one of the first priorities of the coalition is to make sure that apps have access to small business relief provided by the Paycheck Protection Program. Other issues the group hopes to lobby Congress over include privacy and content moderation.