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Consumer Reports applauds bipartisan vote by Senate Judiciary Committee to approve the Open Markets Act

Washington, D.C. – Consumer Reports praised the Senate Judiciary Committee today for approving the Open Markets Act by a vote of 20-2. The bill would help address the stranglehold that Apple and Google have on the smartphone ecosystem which is increasingly the primary mode for consumers to access online services – both inside and outside their homes.

Sumit Sharma, senior researcher for tech competition at CR, said, “Senators on both sides of the political aisle agree it is time to address the stranglehold that Apple and Google have on our smartphones. The Open App Markets Act will allow consumers to get better deals by introducing competition in payment systems on smartphones, and it will enable app developers to freely inform consumers about these cheaper alternatives.”

Ahead of the markup, Consumer Reports submitted a letter in support of the Open Markets Act. In the letter, CR praises this bipartisan effort and the bill for its sound and practical policy solutions which strike the right balance between introducing more competition on smartphones and preserving incentives for Apple and Google to keep developing their mobile ecosystems.

In previous surveys by CR, consumers have overwhelmingly said that big tech companies have too much power. In a nationally representative online survey by CR from September 2020, roughly 3 out of 4 Americans worried about the power wielded by today’s biggest tech platforms.

Sumit added, “The proposed fair market rules will restrict Apple and Google from self-preferencing their own apps, and prohibit them from using confidential marketplace data to undercut retail competitors. This will make it possible for all businesses, big and small, to innovate freely on smartphones, leading to more choice and benefits for consumers.

This is the second bill of the year seeking to address the imbalance of power by tech giants. Last month, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved the American Innovation and Choice Online Act, which CR also praised in a statement

Contact: Cyrus Rassool, cyrus.rassool@consumer.org