Apple Could Soon Be Forced To Enable Third-Party Sideloading In The US And Europe As Anti-Trust Case Against Company’s App Store Exclusivity Picks Up Pace

Tech giant Apple is not happy with the rollout of the US antitrust case that directly targeted its App Store exclusivity.

From what we can see, the legal action is said to be firing across many cylinders as per a recently published report by the country’s Justice Department which handles those breaching competition laws.

The impact could be related to Apple being forced to enable sideloading initiatives by third-party app stores located in America and in the EU. As one can suspect, it’s not a great position that the company would ever want to be in, adding a new threat in terms of competition.

For months, work has been done on this front by antitrust regulators who were busy investigating the matter that gave the iPhone maker exclusive control over its respective iPhone applications that were owned by third parties. No matter what task you’d like to execute, you would have to turn to the App Store to carry it out.

The tech giant claims it has had complete control in terms of which platforms could be enabled on the App Store and the firm also laid down a fixed set of terms that entailed 15% to 30% commission figures. This meant both the user as well as the developer would be the ones bearing the heavy costs and as expected, regulators did not like that news one bit, defining it as a prime example of breaking the competition law.

While this might seem new in the US, the EU has already gone forward to take strict action against Apple and its behavior. They have mentioned through the DMA how it’s unacceptable and would not be allowed. So what does that mean? It’s simple actually, Apple must allow competition to take place in the growing Apple app market.

The only likely means through which the firm may completely abide by the law is by enabling rival app stores across iPhones to function. The company must abide by April.

Apple has not been silent, they’ve had their teams working round the clock throughout the past year, if not longer, to get things moving in the right direction.

The recently launched anti-trust case against the Cupertino firm in the US is not something that has arisen all of a sudden. The country’s Department of Justice confirmed how they have been working hard in terms of carrying out their own investigations on this front. Therefore, plenty of competition experts hope to reach a similar conclusion. And that is certainly not in Apple’s favor.

As recently published by The Financial Times, the person in charge of the whole investigation in the US is close to making the final ruling. And he is none other than the head of the antitrust unit, Jonathan Kanter.

He has been very clear from day one how his goal is to bring big tech names imploring unlawful actions to justice. And that’s why his department has been keenly investigating Apple’s policies related to the App Store for so many years. It’s a race against time as the American Presidential elections are on the rise this year and with a change in administration, there is just limited time to close the case with an effective ruling.

Among the big tech giants likely to bring about third-party app stores across iOS, we’re suspecting software giant Microsoft to be first in line. And after that, many others are expected to follow suit, including many leading game companies. After all, games make up nearly 50% of all of the company’s revenue at the App Store.

But it’s not just the US who will make the change. Other nations to follow in the footsteps of the US will include Japan as it starts to make its own regulations on this front against companies like Apple who they believe are not following anti-trust rules. The same action would be taken against Google so it can enable third-party app stores to function and also give rise to other means of payment across apps.

Photo: Digital Information World - AIgen

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