WASHINGTON (April 20, 2021)—The R Street Institute and 14 other organizations joined together in a broad coalition opposed to proposed state legislation that would mandate changes to app stores, potentially making them less secure and more expensive for creators and users.

The signers note that the proposed mandates would, “fundamentally restructure the online application distribution ecosystem, which has provided consumers safe, secure, and easy access to the apps that populate our smartphones and make them so useful in everyday life.”

Requiring that app stores allow third-party payment systems and “side-loading” applications from external sources are attempts by certain companies to “enjoy the benefits … without having to pay the costs.”

The online application distribution model was first introduced when Apple launched its App Store in 2008, with 500 applications. Today, the App Store alone has more than 2 million applications, with over 500 million users visiting the App Store every week. The market for apps spans the globe, reaching more than 175 countries.

The proposed legislation would raise significant constitutional questions with respect to interstate commerce, as well as harm a thriving market.

Read the full letter here.