Groups Encourage IL State Legislature to Rein In App Store Gatekeepers
Washington, D.C. — Today, seven organizations, including the American Economic Liberties Project, Fight Corporate Monopolies, Color of Change, Fight for the Future, Illinois PIRG, Progressive Change Campaign Committee, and Public Citizen, sent a letter to members of the Illinois State Legislature encouraging them to support SB 2311, a bill that would prevent large app distributors such as Apple and Google from locking small software developers into their systems, resulting in ever-more revenue being siphoned away from innovative businesses into the hands of Big Tech companies.
As the letter explains, SB 2311 would prevent Big Tech from imposing terms onto developers by opening up competition in payments systems, as well as protecting smaller companies that refrain from using Big Tech’s payment systems from retaliation.
“Bills like SB 2311 would give Illinois the opportunity to protect small businesses, entrepreneurs, and consumers from the harmful gatekeeping powers of large app distributers like Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store,” said Pat Garofalo, Director of State and Local Policy at the American Economic Liberties Project. “This bill is part of growing momentum across the country to rein in Big Tech’s ever tightening grip over key areas of commerce. If passed, Illinois could become a national leader on a vital area of economic policy.”
Dominant Big Tech firms cause many tangible harms to small businesses and local communities by choking innovation, depressing business dynamism, and undermining job growth. The gatekeeping powers of Big Tech also negatively affects consumers by controlling what users can do with them and which businesses they do or don’t patronize. Consumer funds meant to support smaller businesses instead get hoovered up by the gatekeepers.
This bill is about fairness and competition in markets, not “price fixing” or any of the other scare terms tech lobbyists have been throwing around to sow fear and confusion. SB 2311 would address one critical aspect of the Big Tech problem.
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The American Economic Liberties Project works to ensure America’s system of commerce is structured to advance, rather than undermine, economic liberty, fair commerce, and a secure, inclusive democracy. Economic Liberties believes true economic liberty means entrepreneurs and businesses large and small succeed on the merits of their ideas and hard work; commerce empowers consumers, workers, farmers, and engineers instead of subjecting them to discrimination and abuse from financiers and monopolists; foreign trade arrangements support domestic security and democracy; and wealth is broadly distributed to support equitable political power.