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Senate antitrust vote likely to pass legislation targeting Apple and others


A Senate antitrust vote could take place as early as this month, and its proponents say they are confident that the legislation will pass into law.

Although there has been bipartisan support for antitrust legislation across both houses, there has been considerable debate on the wording – to the point where some were afraid that the issue would be lost to the midterms. But key figures behind the proposed bill say they now have the votes…

Background

Apple has faced a huge range of antitrust threats, but perhaps the greatest of these is US legislation that could force the company to allow competing app stores or sideloading of iOS apps from developer websites. We’ve previously summarized the story so far:

2019 saw the start of a year-long investigation into whether tech giants were guilty of anti-competitive behavior. Apple was one of the companies investigated, with Tim Cook required to testify before Congress – and was among the tech companies found to engage in “deeply disturbing” anticompetitive behavior.

Congress was initially expected to try to pass a single antitrust bill to tackle all of the issues identified, but instead for multiple bills. At one point, we were up to six of these, but two of them are currently progressing.

If passed into law, either would impact Apple’s treatment of apps like Spotify, but some have suggested it could even bar the company from pre-installing its own apps on iPhones.

The American Innovation and Choice Online Act has made the most progress. Apple CEO Tim Cook personally lobbied against the bill, but his concerns were dismissed by co-sponsor Senator Amy Klobuchar. The bill had bipartisan support in the Senate Judiciary Committee, but it faces opposition from some in both houses […]

The Department of Justice has now thrown its weight behind the bill, arguing that it would enhance its ability to challenge anti-competitive behavior.

Senate antitrust vote likely to pass

Reuters reports that key antitrust legislation proponent Senator Amy Klobuchar and other supporters on both sides of the Senate now believe they have the votes.

Senator Amy Klobuchar and lawmakers from both parties said on Wednesday they had the Senate votes needed to pass legislation aimed at reining in the four tech giants, Meta’s Facebook, Apple, Alphabet’s Google, and Amazon, and urged a vote be taken […]

“We wouldn’t be asking for a vote if we didn’t think we could get 60 votes,” said Klobuchar, who was flanked by Senator Chuck Grassley, a Republican who backs the bill, and House sponsors Representative David Cicilline, a Democrat. , and Ken Buck, a Republican […]

The Senate is expected to vote on the bill this summer, perhaps as early as late June, according to two sources familiar with the matter. The House is then expected to vote on the Senate version, sources said.

“This bill has to pass in June,” Buck said. Grassley said: “We need a Senate vote. And we need that Senate vote to be soon. ”

Apple continues to argue against the legislation, claiming that allowing the installation of apps from outside the company’s own App Store would put iPhone security at risk, despite the fact that any Mac user can install apps directly from developer websites, with macOS protections in place to guard against malware.

The legislation would also stop Google from favoring its own products in search results (like Google Shopping), and Amazon from doing the same in its e-commerce store.

Photo: Eric Haynes / CC3.0 license

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Naveen Kumar

Friendly communicator. Music maven. Explorer. Pop culture trailblazer. Social media practitioner.

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