WASHINGTON—Ahead of Wednesday’s hearings in the U.S. Senate Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee, with executives from Google and Apple testifying on regulating application store markets, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), the leading think tank for science and technology policy, issued the following statement from Aurelien Portuese, ITIF’s director of antitrust and innovation policy:
Policymakers are trying to fix something that is simply not broken. App markets are recent creations therefore it is far too early for policymakers to draw hasty conclusions from an idealized model for competition.
What we do know is that app stores are currently thriving. The high number of apps demonstrates that app stores have led to the creation of a highly competitive market, and that they are evolving in a fast-changing environment.
Lawmakers should not incentivize sideloading—downloading apps from outside app stores—because that will bring about cybersecurity and privacy risks. In addition, lawmakers should refrain themselves from granting through Congress fee rebates that few and well-organized app developers seek to obtain in courts. These opportunistic campaigns will inevitably deplete investments on app stores.
Lower levels of investments in app stores would harm app developers, slow down the pace of digital innovation, and ultimately cost consumers.