Apple and Google oppose Senate antitrust efforts, claiming they would undermine consumer safety

Deepak Gupta
Deepak Gupta January 19, 2022
Updated 2022/01/19 at 12:38 AM

With the Senate Judiciary Committee scheduled to discuss this week, Apple and Google are stepping up their opposition to both projects. According , Apple recently told lawmakers that the legislation would make iPhone users less secure.

“Accounts put consumers at risk because of the real risk of breaching privacy and security,” Apple said in a letter seen by CNBC. The company specifically targets application sideloading as a potential threat. One of the provisions of the Open App Markets Act would force platform holders to allow consumers to sideload software and install third-party app stores. “But if Apple is forced to enable sideloading, millions of Americans are likely to experience malware attacks on their phones that would otherwise be disrupted,” the company states in the letter.

On Tuesday, Google, in a assigned to Kent Walker, the company’s president of global affairs and chief legal officer, made a similar argument. “Google is able to protect billions of people around the world from cyberattacks because we’ve built security and privacy protections into our services,” he said.

Walker warns that the accounts could hamper the company’s ability to integrate automated security features into its services. He also claims the laws could undermine the company’s and its US counterparts’ ability to compete with foreign companies, forcing them to get approval from “government bureaucrats” whenever they plan to launch new features or solve existing problems.

Apple and Google may not like the proposed accounts, but they have the support of other companies in the technology ecosystem. Specifically, the Coalition for App Fairness, an organization co-founded to pressure the two companies to change their app store policies, came out in support of the legislation. “Advancing this important legislation sends a clear and unambiguous message that monopolistic control of the app ecosystem is no longer acceptable,” the group said on Monday.

The Senate Judiciary Committee , at which point they could advance to the Senate floor. At that point, the Senate would need time to vote on the legislation. This is something that can take time with all the other issues you need to consider over the next few weeks.

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