The ongoing rivalry between small tech companies and the industry behemoths they rely on expanded Tuesday when over forty companies signed an open letter of support for The American Innovation and Choice Online Act. While some of the companies that signed have fought what they see as anti-competitive practices for years, others, like Y Combinator, are entering the fray for the first time.
The Act, introduced by Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Chuck Grassley, would keep large platforms like Apple and Google from excluding competitor products. Specifically, it prohibits businesses from using a companies’ data to compete against it, biasing search results against competitors, or requiring other companies to buy their own services for preferential placement. It also keeps companies from preventing interoperability.
“These tactics not only harm competition, but also deprive consumers of the innovative offerings a vibrant market would yield,” the letter states.
Predictably, both Apple and Google disagree. They argue that the Act introduces security threats — requiring Apple to permit app sideloading, for example, or keeping Google from automatically integrating security features. Both also say the bill would worsen the quality of their products, with Google arguing that the legislation would harm “US Technological leadership.”
“We believe that updating technology regulations in areas like privacy, AI, and protections for kids and families could provide real benefits. But breaking our products wouldn’t address any of these issues,” said Kent Walker, who is chief legal officer and president of global affairs at Google and Alphabet, in a public statement.
The Senate Judiciary Committee is set to mark up the bill Thursday.