Computer companies including the biggest Big Tech targets of a potential revamp of antitrust regulations have told the National Telecommunications & Information Administration that the mobile app market is already a 'fair, open and competitive marketplace' and that using antitrust enforcement to go after perceived inequities could hurt consumers and innovation.
That is according to comments filed by the Computer & Communications Industry Association.
NTIA, the White House’s chief communications policy adviser, last month asked for input on the state of mobile app competition, a request that suggested app competition needed "restoring" and that the goal was one of the "critical priorities" of President Biden's Executive Order on Promoting Competition in the American Economy."
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CCIA, whose members include Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google, essentially told NTIA 'nothing to see here,' or at least nothing that can't be fixed by Congress with federal privacy standards. “Growth and innovation in the mobile app ecosystem, together with rapid advancements in the power and diversity of mobile devices, have created a fiercely competitive environment benefiting consumers, developers, and the computer industry," it said.
CCIA renewed its call for Congress to come up with federal privacy legislation to protect consumers' privacy on mobile apps rather than have the Federal Trade Commission and Justice Department "rewrite antitrust practice and jurisprudence accumulated over the course of many decades," in the process "overlooking the significant constraints that multi-sided firms face and, accordingly, finding anticompetitive conduct where none exists."
It said that such "false positives” by either regulators or the courts "deter innovation and hinder consumer welfare." ■
Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.
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