Apple and Google are preparing to fight the new App Store bill


“This legislation will remove mandatory anti-competitive barriers in the application economy, provide consumers with more choices, and provide fighter clubs for smaller start-up technology companies,” Blumenthal said.

The role of the bill

The Act covers owning or controlling app Store There are at least 50 million American users, obviously targeting Apple and Google. These companies must “allow and provide users with easy-to-access methods” to “select third-party apps or app stores as the default values ​​for the categories applicable to the apps or app stores” and “install third-party apps by means or “App Store” except for its App Store. “Apple and Google must also let users “hide or delete apps or app stores provided or pre-installed by app store owners or any of their business partners.”

Android does allow side-loading and third-party app stores, while Apple locks iOS more strictly, but if legislation becomes law, the two companies may have to change business practices to varying degrees.Although Android is open relative to iOS, there are still 36 states Suing Google Last month, it claimed that it can “preemptively cancel” competing app stores.

The “Open App Market Act” will prohibit app store operators from requiring developers to use Apple and Google’s in-app payment systems, and prohibit imposing provisions to prevent or punish developers who offer the same app at different prices elsewhere. Apple and Google will not be allowed to “unreasonably” favor their applications in search, which is defined as “application-first application ranking schemes or algorithms” simply because they are used by Apple and Google or their business partners have. Explicitly disclosed advertisements are not subject to this regulation.

To help third-party software developers, the bill stated that Apple and Google must provide developers with “access to operating system interfaces, development information, and hardware and software functions in a timely manner and on equivalent or functionally equivalent terms.” The terms applicable to Apple and Google or their business partners.

According to U.S. law, violation of the Act will be regarded as an unfair method of competition. The Federal Trade Commission, the U.S. Attorney General and the State Attorney General will be able to sue the company for violations. Developers who are “injured by anything prohibited by this Act” will be able to sue the company for damages and injunctive relief.

Solve security issues

Apple and Google may oppose the bill on security grounds.Especially apple Touted safety advantages The iOS application model that generally prevents the installation of software from outside the App Store. To solve this problem, the “Open Application Market Act” allows companies to impose restrictions specifically designed for security purposes, although this definition is vague.

The bill states that if the app store operator’s actions are “necessary to achieve user privacy, security, or digital security; to prevent spam or fraud; or to prevent violations or compliance with, federal or state laws.” In order to obtain With this exemption, Apple and Google must “provide clear and convincing evidence that the actions described apply to apps and other apps that cover the company or its business partners on an apparently consistent basis; not as an excuse Excluding or imposing unnecessary or discriminatory terms, third-party apps, in-app payment systems or app stores; and narrow customization, which cannot be achieved in a less discriminatory and technically feasible way.”

Application battle on the road

The rapid response from groups funded by Apple and Google to the announcement on Wednesday foreshadows another battle on Capitol Hill if the bill moves forward.Apple “initiated a large-scale public relations push” in June to oppose the “regulatory agency’s call to open the door to alternative app stores and side-loaded apps on the iPhone”, as we said Written at the time. CEO Tim Cook stated that sideloading is “not in the user’s best interests”, while another Apple executive claimed that “sideloading is actually eliminating options in this case” and described the sideloading Installing the app is equivalent to “some dark alleys or side roads.”

When 36 states filed antitrust lawsuits against Google last month, Google said that the complaint was baseless and stated that “a group of state attorneys chose to file a lawsuit and attacked systems that provide more openness and choice than other states. This is very Strange.” At the same time, an “App Fair Alliance” composed of members such as Spotify, Epic Games, Match Group, Basecamp, ProtonMail, and Deezer also joined the Open App Market Act.


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