(Bloomberg) -- The co-sponsors of antitrust legislation targeting Apple Inc.’s and Google’s power over app stores are preparing a last-ditch — and likely doomed — effort to move the bill through Congress as they run out of options to advance it before lawmakers leave for the year.
Republican Senator Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee and Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut are attempting to use a procedural move to expedite a vote on the Open App Markets Act over the next few days, according to five people familiar with the plans.
The effort is all but certain to fail. It would take only the objection of one senator to derail the process, and Congress is facing a crush of other priorities in the remaining weeks of the current session.
Supporters of the legislation say the procedure is intended to show momentum and support for the bill, which has received support from the top Republican and Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The Open App Markets Act takes aim at the billions of fees collected by Apple and Alphabet Inc.’s Google, requiring the companies to make it easier for users to download other app stores and switch the apps set as the defaults on phones. The measure passed 20-2 out of the Senate Judiciary Committee earlier this year, with opposing votes from Texas Republican John Cornyn and North Carolina Republican Thom Tillis.
The maneuver by Blackburn and Blumenthal, known as hotlining, comes as the window closes on efforts by critics of giant technology companies to pass legislation this year. Despite earlier momentum, Congress hasn’t advanced the Open App Markets Act or a companion bill, the American Innovation and Choice Online Act, which would prevent large tech companies from using their platforms to disadvantage their rivals.
--With assistance from Leah Nylen.
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