Apple and Google app stores get thumbs down from White House

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration has accused Apple and Google of stifling competition by running mobile app stores.

The findings were included in a Department of Commerce report released by the administration on Wednesday when President Joe Biden convened the Competition Council for an update on efforts to boost competition and keep prices down. I’m here.

“You’ve heard me say capitalism without competition isn’t capitalism,” Biden said before calling a meeting on Wednesday, “that’s just exploitation,” he said. .

On another competitive front, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was working to limit late fees on credit cards.

The current app store model, dominated by Apple and Google, is “harmful to consumers and developers” by driving up prices and reducing innovation, according to a report from the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration. It has been. It adds that companies have market power that stifles competition.

“The policies that Apple and Google have in place in their own mobile app stores have created unnecessary barriers and costs for app developers. costs vary, ranging from

Biden addressed Democrats and Republicans in a January Wall Street Journal op-ed without mentioning the names of Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple and Mountain View, Calif.-based Google. Called to curb big tech companies.

“When tech platforms get big enough, they will find ways to promote their products while excluding or disadvantaged competitors, or charging competitors big bucks to sell on their platforms,” Biden said. “My vision for our economy is one where everyone — small businesses, family businesses, entrepreneurs — can compete on a level playing field with large corporations.”

An Apple representative told the Associated Press: A field for small developers to compete on a secure and reliable platform. ”

A Google spokesperson also said the company does not agree with the report, saying, “How the report characterizes Android gives it more choice and competition than any other mobile operating system.” He also said he disagreed with the question of whether to

The legal battle for control of the app stores has already begun in court.

Apple has championed the area around the iPhone app store, known as the walled garden, as an essential feature for consumers who want maximum protection for their personal information. The company says it faces significant competition from a variety of iPhone video game alternatives. Google has long defended itself against claims of monopoly.

The Department of Commerce report said that “new laws and additional antitrust enforcement actions are likely to be required” to encourage competition in the app ecosystem.

NTIA administrator Alan Davidson told reporters the report “identifies where legislation will be needed to address some of these issues.”

Biden said his administration will work with state and local officials to identify ways to crack down on junk fees in jurisdictions. He also called on Congress to pass the Nuisance Charge Protection Act, which covers hidden charges in the entertainment, travel and hospitality industries.

Meanwhile, the White House said the Consumer Financial Protection Agency would proceed with a proposed rule to limit credit card late fees. The agency estimates that this will save consumers about $9 billion in late fees annually.

The agency’s director general, Rohit Chopra, said the rule is expected to reduce the usual late fee for nonpayment from about $30 to $8, and could come into effect as early as 2024. I’m here.

“Historically, credit card companies charged relatively small penalties for non-payment, but once they realized that these fees were an easy source of profit, the surge that occurred in the 2000s Late fees have skyrocketed,” Chopra told reporters. In addition to billions of dollars in interest, we are facing $12 billion in late fees annually.”

The Bureau is the country’s financial watchdog, established in 2011 after the Great Recession.

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