The Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) has issued the following statement in response to the release of the “Competition in the Mobile Application Ecosystem” by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) which evaluates the state of play in mobile apps as well as the means of distribution. The statement can be attributed to Chris Mohr, SIIA President.
We commend NTIA for producing this comprehensive report and appreciate that they acknowledged some of our comments, including that the mobile ecosystem is much broader than just mobile phone apps. We also agree with NTIA that the mobile app ecosystem is characterized by robust competition with millions of apps available for users to choose from. The case for disrupting a competitive and well-functioning ecosystem has therefore not been made.
However, as the administration and Congress weigh further action, it will be important for them to be honest about the complex trade-offs that any future policy decisions will require. This includes being transparent about the fact that several of the report’s suggested remedies are highly tenuous. The report references two bills that did not pass the last Congress in part because of potentially serious risks to user privacy and U.S. national security. The report also mentions the EU’s Digital Markets Act as a potential source of inspiration–an unproven new law in the early stages of implementation.
Any actions by the administration and Congress must be narrowly tailored, protect consumer privacy as well as U.S. economic and national security interests and not aimed to single out and punish a small group of U.S. companies to give an advantage to their competitors.