It’s old news that tech giant such as Apple and Google are fighting against the new Antitrust bill and Open Market Act that is currently in the Senate. Apple has been particularly vocal about the possible harm these bills could cause but it seems the senate is not having it.
Although Apple has been fighting the new bill, so far, things are not looking too good for the company (at least for now). According to a new report, the Open Markets Act has passed the Senate Judiciary Committee and is now moving on to be debated by the full Senate.
Apple might be forced to allow sideloading in its device if the new bill becomes law
If this new bill becomes law, Apple might start allowing sideloading of Apps into its devices. This means, Apple iPhone and/or iPad users will be able to download and install Apps from outside the Apple App Store.
In a first blow to Apple (and others), Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee almost unanimously approved the proposed legislation. According to media reports, the vote was 21-1 and Sen. John Cornyn is the only member of the Committee to vote against the proposed legislation.
Aside from sideloading of apps, if the Open Markets Act becomes law, it will stop companies such as Apple and Google from requiring developers to use their first-party payment systems. The bill will also ban tech giants from using non-public info to compete with smaller app developers.
According to one of the bill’s main sponsors Sen. Amy Klobuchar, the new legislation will create new rules for app stores and will therefore help level the playing field. The sponsors of this bill believes it will make sure there is an open innovative and competitive app marketplace. Well, the bill is one step closer to becoming a law.
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Apple and Google are still against the antitrust bill and Open Market Act
Both Apple and Google have been fighting the bill right from its introduction. Google has stated that this will affects how its product is used and might mean giving out user data to third-party.
Apple has been vocal about the sideloading effects and even sent out letters to senators pointing out the effects. Note that these tech giants are not against the bill but just need the bill to be amended in certain areas.
Also, it seems the bill is fast passing through the senate house and they complained they’re not paying enough attention to all the details in the bill.
So far, the concern of Apple is that allowing sideloading have poses of security risks for its iPhone and iPad users. Apple points out that the bill would harm user privacy, create legal uncertainty and expansive liability exposure, as well as deny consumer choice.
Just like Apple, Google also argues that the antitrust bill “could prevent Google from securing our products by default.” We all know that Google has a strong ecosystem of products that works effectively together.
Google believes that the law could limit its “ability to integrate automated security features if other companies offer similar features.” A case study for this argument is Safe browsing.
So far, both the Antitrust bill and Open Markets Act are not in line with top tech giants. But, these bills are not law yet but it seems tech giants such as Apple has lost the first round. Let’s wait and see what happens next.