By Chris Teale
June 22, 2022 at 6:00 am ET
As advocacy groups and lawmakers push hard for Congress to pass the Open App Markets Act and boost competition in app stores beyond Apple Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google, registered voters are unconvinced by the bill’s provisions, according to the latest Morning Consult/Politico survey.
During a recent event on Capitol Hill to push for passage of antitrust legislation, Gene Burrus, director of global competition policy at Spotify Technology SA, said he lamented the “terrible situation” in which app developers find themselves blocked from a direct customer relationship by Google and Apple and their respective app stores.
Both companies have argued that the legislation would undermine privacy and security for smartphone users. In a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Mark Isakowitz, Google’s vice president for government affairs and public policy, accused lawmakers of trying to “artificially pick winners and losers in a highly competitive marketplace.”
Lawmakers have also raised concerns about the possible chilling effect on free speech if only a few companies are able to dominate the app store marketplace. Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) said during the event on Capitol Hill that if companies can unilaterally remove social media apps or other platforms for speech they disagree with, it would be “dangerous in a country like ours.”
Burrus said antitrust legislation would improve the user experience on apps, help customers better manage their subscriptions and allow them to more easily take advantage of deals.
“Quite frankly, this cracks the gate that is currently between app developers everywhere, including Spotify, and their potential customers or their existing customers,” he said.
The June 17-20, 2022, survey was conducted among a representative sample of 2,004 registered voters, with an unweighted margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.