The ruling US Democratic Party is pushing for the debate and approval of a package of laws with the mission of limiting the monopoly power of large technology companies through mechanisms designed to facilitate their division, to make it difficult for them to merge with each other, or to prevent them from discriminating against competing services and platforms.
And it is precisely this last point that can trigger more controversy in the short term and affect users more directly. Because this 'non-discrimination' goal, while forcing companies to facilitate data portability of their accounts (which is a very good thing), could also making certain services and products that are currently very popular and in demand illegal.
Adam Kovacevich, former spokesman for several Democratic legislators, former Google public policy director, and now CEO of the Chamber of Progress, a technology industry association dedicated to "promote a 'progressive society'" with funding from Amazon, Google, Facebook or Uber, has blamed the Democratic Party that it is not "focusing on improving people's lives", but on "messing with the things they like."
What services should we say goodbye to?
And to illustrate it, he has elaborated a compilation of some of the services that would be affected by this new legislation:
Amazon Basics and free shipping on Amazon Prime: Requiring equal treatment from Amazon to all products and suppliers would prevent Amazon from continuing to compete with them on its own platform through the Amazon Basics brand or by offering targeted free shipping. Amazon should also refrain from recommending the provider with the best price among those who offer the same product.
Google Maps or YouTube on Google results page: Showing results from Google Maps or YouTube (also owned by Google) in its own general search engine would discriminate against the competitors of the first, according to the new legislation. Bing couldn't do the same with its calculator either.
Integrated song lyrics in Google results: It does not matter that the pages that collect the lyrics do not also belong to Google ... if the search engine chooses to privilege the content from a certain lyrics website, it would be 'discriminating' against all the others.
Facebook / Instagram integration: The law would prevent Facebook from showing the stories of your friends on your Facebook, and would prevent cross-publication between both platforms.
Recommendation of the 'best apps' on the Apple App Store: As the legislative proposal is written, this recommendation of some apps to the detriment of others would be considered discrimination.
Find My iPhone from iOS: The Apple app that allows iPhone / iPad users to find their lost or stolen devices could not be pre-installed either, since — again — it would be discriminatory compared to other apps with similar functions.
- MS Office 365 / LinkedIn integration: Goodbye to integrating LinkedIn contact information into our Office cloud service account, since in both cases it would be Microsoft platforms.
Let us remember that Kovacevich, although ideologically coinciding with the 'democrats', leads a lobby after all of the technology industry and it does not have to be impartial in its assessment ...
… However, what we know about the projects presented indicates that this class of services based on the integration of various technologies from the same company and / or on the discrimination of some over others to facilitate the user to "find what they are looking for" they could, indeed, have many problems adapting to this new legislation if it were to be approved.
Via | Political