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CR letter in support of Massachusetts bill promoting competition among app stores

Description: Consumer Reports submitted a letter to Massachusetts legislators supporting HD 2125. The bill aims to introduce more competition by allowing additional payment solutions in App Stores and other measures to enable third party apps (apps not developed by Apple or Google) to compete with Apple and Google’s own apps on similar terms. These other measures include:
  • prohibiting restrictions on app developers communicating through their own apps;
  • non-discrimination (by restricting self-preferencing and requiring interoperability);
  • restricting App Store owners from using data derived from a third party app developer or the developer’s application to compete with the developer;
  • requiring specific reasons to exclude app developers from the App Store; and
  • allowing end users to choose third party apps as defaults and to hide or delete apps provided by the App Store owner.

HD 2125 is required to address the entrenched market power of Google and Apple. Today the software and mobile app choices of over 99% of US smartphone users are determined by Apple and Google. In addition, consumers generally single-home when using smartphones i.e. a consumer uses either an Apple or an Android smartphone at one time not both at the same time. The combination of high smartphone market shares and single-homing by consumers means that Google and Apple have both the ability and incentive to set App Store market rules that often benefit them at the expense of their captive users or businesses that sell apps and services via the App Store.


The bill would address many of these issues and if enacted should allow the best apps to get consumers’ attention and dollars, irrespective of which company makes the app.