What you need to know
- House lawmakers have introduced five new bills aimed at big tech.
- The bills aim to curtail the market dominance enjoyed by major tech firms.
The age of big tech going around unchecked might actually be over in the United States...if the bills introduced today get enough traction.
As reported by The Verge, the five bipartisan bills aim to curb the market dominance that some major tech firms have enjoyed for years now. One of the bills could give the Justice Department or the Federal Trade Commission the power to require tech companies to break off parts of their business that create a conflict of interest (think the App Store or Amazon Basics). Another bill would prevent acquisitions like when Facebook gobbled up Instagram back in 2012.
Representative David Cicilline, who oversaw the House antitrust investigation, says that all of the bills aim to "level the playing field" so that the big tech firms are forced to compete fairly with smaller companies.
It's currently unclear when the bills will be heard in Congress or when they could be passed into law.
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Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.
"Another bill would bar companies from giving their own services preference over their rivals." This would also bar Apple from bundling up all of their apps or services at discounted prices as well, especially since Apple pays no fees for any of their apps, or services. Yet other companies even if they tried to offer bundles with multiple services and/or products. No one can compete with Apple, because Apple still requires fees from other bundled apps or services. Its so unfair, that I was surprised that Apple was even allowed to do that in the first place.
Apple needs to modify its App Store policies, but these bills go to far. They’d prevent Apple from offering any first-party apps whatsoever—effectively forcing Apple to sell iPhones with zero apps and zero integrated experiences. The iPhone has a 95%+ customer satisfaction rating, and normal people who don’t visit sites like iMore like uncomplicated experiences with their smartphone that work out of the box. I bet Apple would rather sink the App Store and force developers to offer their apps via Safari PWAs than ship an iPhone with no first-party experiences.
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