Here’s what’s wrong with The American Innovation & Choice Online Act (S. 2992).
S. 2992 will cause irreparable damage.
Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) introduced an amended version of the bill that supporters say will prevent Big Tech from leveraging their digital marketplaces to benefit their products and services. However, recent revisions only excluded telecommunication, credit card, and banking industries from the regulations they plan to impose. Policymakers and developers warn that unchanged provisions could stifle innovation, jeopardize cybersecurity, and upend the app ecosystem that consumers and developers depend on.
The bill impacts three key areas that developers value: collaboration, efficiency, and opportunity to compete.
S. 2992 harms a thriving app marketplace by making it harder for developers to create and distribute their products and for small businesses to grow and thrive in the American economy.
Developers appreciate lawmakers’ efforts to promote broad market principles that allow developers to compete. This bill threatens the ease of interconnected features, such as APIs, productivity tools, and market access — all of which developers use to improve and deliver great products to consumers. The work to shape the app economy should be done in consultation with those who know the industry best: developers.
Any disruption to marketplaces on computers, game consoles, or mobile devices should be careful, consistent, and balanced so that smaller developers can adapt and thrive. Senator Klobuchar’s bill decouples the many systems that must align to create better user experiences, leaving no one in charge of ensuring the pieces work together, bridge the gaps, or even function properly. The bills also jeopardize cybersecurity by opening up data to unvetted third parties. As a result, it would increase costs and complexity for developers and their partners.
Opportunity to Compete
The best platforms allow developers to be active participants in improving and benefiting from the app marketplace. Two ways app publishers and businesses benefit is the ability to reach customers with their products at scale through open systems. S. 2992 will break the app marketplace into fragmented channels, leaving consumers lost and developers adrift with no way to reach users. It would make it harder to advertise across platforms, eliminate single sign-on, restrict the integration of valuable features like Maps, and reduce the value of user ads.