On Wednesday, A bill introduced by US senators seeks to loosen the grip Apple and Google have on their lucrative online shops for apps and other digital content.
The measure backed by Democrats and Republicans would have to make its way through Congress to become law.
The bill would make it illegal for app store operators to require the use of their own payment systems for transactions, a tactic that lets Apple and Google collect commissions on sales at their respective shops.
The legislation also calls for app store operators who also control device operating systems, as do Apple and Google, to allow users ways to get apps from places other than their stores.
As mobile technologies have become essential to our daily lives, it has become clear that a few gatekeepers control the app marketplace, wielding incredible power over which apps consumers can access.
Apple and Google have fought off accusations that they make it difficult in Apple’s case, impossible to buy apps from anywhere other than the app stores that come pre-installed on their phones.
Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store both charge up to 30 per cent commission on payments made within apps bought there, requiring the use of their own payment systems that collect their shares of transactions.
Apple and Google have maintained that commissions charged are standard in the industry, and fair compensation for building safe marketplaces where developers can reach people around the world.