Thursday, Jan 20, 2022, 16:10 Economy

Apple Resumes Lobbying Activities Against Sideloading – US Senate Considering Options

For politicians and government agencies, Apple holds a dangerously dominant position over the market – leaving them a lot of room to attack the company. Accordingly, Apple's unavoidable commission taken on in-app purchases on the App Store appear anti-competitive (and thus in violation of anti-trust law). Some actors also consider Apple's refusal to allow other "App Store" platforms on its mobile or handheld devices to be anti-competitive. According to the argument, an app platform without any alternatives serves the interest of the primary company more than any other and thus harms any potential competition. In the USA, there are serious attempts to limit the power of "big techs", particularly regarding "sideloading" – the downloading of apps outside of the App Store. Cupertino is now turning to the US senate to prevent any such laws.

Apple Warns Against Sideloading
The Senate's decision will issue the result of its deliberation from two sources: Before consulting the "Open Market Act" today, the US Senate will first debate over the "American Innovation and Choice Online Act". If these provisions are applied, there will be serious consequences for the company – firstly, Apple would have to allow users to download apps or iPhone and iPad from platforms other than its in-house App Store. In a letter to the legal committee and published by The Wall Street Journal, Timothy Powderly (Apple's Senior Director of Government Affairs) warns against such developments: According to Powderly, such an application of the provisions would harm the overall competitive environment and inhibit innovation. The reason provided? It would make it more difficult to maintain the same privacy and security standards.

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Democratic Senator Shows Little Sympathy For Apple
Forcing Apple to allow external app platforms would be akin to opening the door for ransomware, malware, and scams – at least, according to the company itself. As per Powderly's letter, those who would profit more than anyone else would be, in particular those who are irresponsible with user data. One representative, Senator Amy Klobuchar of the Democratic Party, referred to Apple's brief as misleading. Accordingly, the tech giant's arguments are simply an attempt to sustain its current App Store monopoly. A trillion-dollar company such as Apple is more than able to protect users' privacy and security whilst still offering its users a more extensive selection – according to the representative.

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