A bipartisan group of three senators unveiled a bill Wednesday that would force Google and Apple to let mobile apps communicate with users about fees and would protect sideloading.
The measure — from Democratic Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Amy Klobuchar and Republican Marsha Blackburn — marks a major federal effort after the two device companies beat back attempts to regulate app stores in the states.
Developers of many apps complain that Apple and Google extract a financial cut from transactions on their operating systems, and won't let the app companies communicate with users about ways to get around the fee. Apple and Google, for instance, are both facing lawsuits from video-game maker Epic over such complaints, and app stores are at the heart of a multi-state lawsuit against Google.
Lawmakers have been unhappy with the practices as well.
The bill would also require Apple and Google not to compete against apps using non-public information and not to "unreasonably" rank their own apps or partners more highly than those from competitors.