Voters Don’t Buy That OAMA Will Boost App Store Competition

As time goes on, it is becoming increasingly clear that ordinary Americans lack enthusiasm for greater regulation of American tech companies. According to recent polls conducted by Morning Consult/ Politico, only two provisions of the Open App Markets Act (OAMA) — “preventing app stores from self-preferencing their own apps in search results and preventing app stores from requiring app developers to use the store’s own payment processor” — had at least 30% support from those polled. 

 On a provision of the bill seeking to “prevent app stores from restricting developers’ ability to inform users about special offers”, pollsters found that “37% [of respondents] were unsure and an equal share was opposed.” Furthermore, support for the bill seems to be partisan with “Independents and Republicans… either split on or more likely to oppose nearly every provision” and the opposite “for Democrats”.  

The polls seem to corroborate the view that voters lack “enthusiasm for congressional regulation of the technology sector compared to other priorities.” Moreover, in “a recent Morning Consult/Politico survey, just 15% said [regulation of successful American tech companies] should be a top priority.” In addition to the lack of zeal among ordinary Americans for further tech regulation, the Senate has been hesitant to put the OAMA on the chamber floor for a vote amid “concerns about the political consequences of it and another antitrust bill.” 

Apple and Google “have argued that the [OAMA’s provision restricting the ability for these firms to regulate their app markets] would undermine privacy and security for smartphone users.” Ensuring that firms can self-regulate and maintain the reputation and good will of their app markets by prohibiting fraudulent and deceptive apps and developers from being granted access to their users is paramount to assuring a positive consumer experience.  

In summary, the increased regulation of successful American tech companies proposed by legislation such as the OAMA has not only proven to undermine both consumer welfare and national defense but has also proven to be increasingly unpopular among both ordinary voters and lawmakers. Rather than focus on unpopular legislation that would actively sabotage the interests of our country, Congress should focus on resolving issues of actual importance and relevance.