Exclusive – Sen. Marsha Blackburn: Open App Markets Act Would ‘Remove Apple and Google as the Gatekeepers’ on Smartphones

Senator Marsha Blackburn, a Republican from Tennessee, speaks during a news conference abo
Eric Lee/Bloomberg, Business Wire

Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) said on Wednesday’s edition of the Breitbart News Daily podcast with host Alex Marlow that the Open App Markets Act — proposed legislation cosponsored by her and Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) — would end Apple’s and Google’s shared role as “gatekeepers” of applications on smartphones and mobile devices.

“We have the Open App Markets Act, and that is something that is bipartisan,” Blackburn remarked. “This would remove Apple and Google as the gatekeepers on your apps.”

Blackburn emphasized the control held by Apple and Google over the mobile device app landscape on their operating systems, iOS and Android, respectively.

Blumenthal described the status quo of power held by the two technology companies as a “duopoly” over the two “dominant app stores.”

Blackburn continued, “Right now on Apple, you cannot put something on your phone that does not go through the Apple App Store, and I think you the consumer should decide what apps you want on own your phone and not Tim Cook.”

“At Google, it is less restrictive on the Androids,” she continued. “However, it is very difficult to put those third-party apps [on your mobile device]. I have talked to app innovators, they have told me market access is one of the big problems.”

Blackburn described her proposed legislation as an “antitrust” measure.

She stated, “It would remove Apple and Google as the gatekeepers. It would open up the app marketplace, so you could get apps directly from the app innovator and it would remove Apple and Google’s ability to take 30 percent of the profit on those apps from these app innovators.”

Asked about the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA), the Tennessee senator warned that it would lead to the creation of corrupt “media cartels.”

Blackburn noted that the JCPA was initially attached to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) by legislators. She described the attempt to pass the JCPA under the guise of legislative national defense measures as a bad faith effort to deceive American citizens.

The JCPA is “garbage” that legislators “inappropriately placed” in the NDAA, she added. Legislators attempted to use the NDAA as a legislative “Christmas tree” upon which to attach political ornaments, Blackburn concluded.

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Follow Robert Kraychik on Twitter @rkraychik.


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