On August 11, 2021, three U.S. Senators, Richard Blumenthal, Amy Klobuchar and Marsha Blackburn, introduced a very important “antitrust” bill in the United States Congress: the Open App Markets Act.
This legislation aims to prevent big technology companies (Big Tech) from engaging in anticompetitive practices in app markets. This would directly impact how Apple and Google respectively run the App Store and the Play Store.
Although largely focused on the economic impact of Apple’s and Google’s abuse of their dominant positions, the Open App Markets Act contains a crucial element which, if the bill were to be passed, would drastically limit the power these companies have to censor apps and content, often on behalf of authoritarian regimes such as China, Russia, Saudi Arabia and others. In January 2022, we wrote a letter to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, drawing attention to Apple’s active collaboration with authoritarian regimes and the rampant censorship on the App Store and to ask members of the Committee to take the necessary measures to end Apple’s unethical and immoral behavior.
As the bill will soon be discussed and submitted to a vote by members of Congress, we are calling on you to join the global effort to fight against censorship by Apple by supporting the Open App Markets Act.
On April 4th, Fight For The Future, a leading U.S.-based group advocating for digital rights, is launching Antitrust Day to support the bill. This will help give app developers more power to reach their customers without the control of the app stores run by Apple and Google and will also allow users from all parts of the world to access the apps and information they need freely.
Join us and many others – from non-profit organizations such as the TOR Project, Electronic Frontier Foundation, to private groups like DuckDuckGo and ProtonMail – to demand that freedom of information and expression be protected from censorship by Apple, Google and the repressive regimes that they work with.