U.S. House bill would force Apple to destroy their walled garden, allow third-party app stores

U.S. House Judiciary lawmakers on Friday introduced legislation meant to set rules for how companies like Apple and Google control their online app stores.

Apple's App Store on iPhone
Apple’s App Store on iPhone

Margaret Harding McGill for Axios:

The bipartisan bill is the House companion to Senate legislation introduced earlier this week.

House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee ranking member Ken Buck (R-Colo.) and Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) say the Open App Markets Act will allow app developers to tell consumers about lower prices and open up more competition for third-party app stores and payment services.

MacDailyNews Take: Again, by all means, let’s turn the Garden of Eden into a glorious combination of the streets of Detroit and Chicago. Makes tons of sense.

“Hey, let’s dramatically increase the potential for malicious code and behavior on Apple’s iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Apple TV!”

“What a great idea!” exclaim these U.S. Congressmen.

We await the U.S. House bills that force Microsoft’s Xbox and Sony’s PlayStation to allow third-party app stores with bated breath.

Spotify, Epic Games, etc.’s demand they should be able to advertise alternative deals within their iOS app is a practice that no store in the world allows.

The fact is that when Sony sells TVs in Best Buy, they’re not allowed to place placards next to each unit that say the same unit is cheaper at Target, along with QR codes that launch Amazon’s app offering the exact same TV at a lower price.

Once again, Spotify et al. want all the benefits of the App Store for free.

Of course, we’re all for Apple allowing app developers to inform users that the App Store isn’t their only shopping option, as long as Spotify, Epic Games or any other developer simply pay Apple a 15% – 30% advertising fee for each sale they make as a result of being offered the alternative payment option via Apple’s App Store. 😉

Apple deserves compensation from any developer using their store for distribution, advertising, etc.

Hopefully, Apple (and Google) lobbyists will be able to quash this mess of a bill with aplomb.

The “Open App Markets Act” is the House companion to a Senate bill that was introduced this week by U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN). The full text of the Senate bill can be found here.

40 Comments

  1. The only thing that is reasonable for anyone to be pursuing is for Apple to allow users to install apps via third party sources as they choose without having to jailbreak their phone and not be locked into only being able to download from Apple App store.

    Forcing any store to allow third party advertising should not be forced on any company. It is only fair that any activity that relies on a company’s resources and/or platform should be entitled to some form of compensation.

    Of course this whole issue stems from Apple making it impossible to load apps except through them. So they kinda created this reactive mess.

    1. You are totally clueless to the wrongful implications and infringement on private company business practices.

      All behind Apple on this one to slay the misinformation specialists dumb as a box of rocks working under a gilded dome in the “swamp” at exorbitant salaries and benefits they do not deserve…

  2. Good. Time to reign in big tech tyranny. They are making “excess profits,” “gouging the public,” and “engaging in monopolistic behavior.” (Remember all those liberal tropes?) I have lost all sympathy for the maker of the SpyPhone. The big tech companies are in bed with government? They like big government? Tax ’em and regulate ’em.

    1. Yes, by all means reign in Big Tech tyranny. But it’s not Apple. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram et al are the abusers of free speech and guardian of LEFTIST CENSORSHIP.

      Apple is just trying to make a buck behind the walled garden and terms of service promising SECURITY.

      Wait a minute, they want to change security standards and spy on users using a back door?…

    2. I’m with you. Once they broke Steve Jobs privacy promise of “inform the user, ask them for permission, repeatedly” by installing a scanning back door, I gave up on them.

      Unless apple turns about, says we made a mistake, we wont be installing a scanning back door, and never will. Apple is dead to me.

      Steve Jobs was good at this. When he made a mistake with the DVD and then did an about face and put in CDROM burners for what ended up being their successful rip mix burn campaign, he showed flexibility. Moron Cook is incapable of doing other than being an idiot plastic cue card reader.

      F apple. I just dont care anymore.

      1. I agree completely Apple deserves whatever they get with Apple’s decision to no longer be secure I’ve already decided cheapest Iphonend going forward and my MacBook Pro 16 will be my last. Back Windows which frankly work very well these days no reason to pay the premium tax

  3. But without the app store the little developers would not be able to survive as the would not have the infrastructure to distribute their apps on their own. It also does not cost us more to use the app store vs side loading.

    1. You make it sound as if every ‘little’ developer has to have their own App store. Most likely a 3rd party App store like Amazon’s or Samsung’s for the Android camp will start up to help those iOS developers to distribute their App outside Apple’s control.

  4. I think we should let the idiots load all the virus-riden apps they want. They will have to buy more phones to replace the ones loaded with viruses, which will increase Apple profits.

    Just like removing all warning labels and letting stupidity take its course.

    1. The problem with letting stupidity take its course is that intelegent people often get caught in the crossfire. The smart/safe product will often be driven out of business because the stupid/unsafe product is so much cheaper and the consequences aren’t clear to ordinary people. Mac marginalization is an example of that. Another is that we will be stuck with the virus for years since we can’t get enough people vaccinated.

      1. Just whom is going to be driven out of business? You’re shooting in the dark and bloviating again.

        Intelligent, not “intelegent.”

        Mac is not tied to your fantasy and anything but marginalized. Pay close attention GUESS it all, last quarter Mac registered ALL TIME RECORD SALES! Got it?

        If they lowered prices and shed the negative Apple tax image — Apple would make serious inroads increasing market share taking on all PC makers.

        Hey brainless, from a medical professional: “The older human coronaviruses were first identified in the mid-1960s, but have likely circulated in humans for centuries.” Repeat, CENTURIES. Currently the WHO is tracking 13 major variants world wide and another organization is documenting close to 200.

        So yes, we will be stuck with the virus for centuries. Got that?? And if you believe political FAKE Fauci by vaccinating everyone it will magically disappear world wide, I have a big bridge in N.Y. to sell you…

  5. Apple should simply remove all developers who choose alternative distribution channels from THEIR App store and each time somebody wants to install an app from an alternative distribution channel flash a dialogue box where the user accepts liability for any consequences. And withdraw all support from such developers.

    1. Tim: could you please give Pete a call? He’s got a solution that might take off the legal edge and let the system preform…while keeping organizing principles.

      Also, could you please back off on the iPhone monitoring. The recent announcement has inspired massive “safest phone” & “iPhone Alt” searches.

    2. You realize that the largest developers would probably be among the group that choose to have their own ‘alternative’ distribution channel since they also have a recognized ‘brand’ that makes it easy for users to find. I doubt Apple would want to lose a significant chunk of their App Store income.

  6. What a bunch of CRAP! Are you a bunch of millenials? If not, you sure are responding as such…

    People have installed software on computers for decades without consequence from third parties. The notion that the only place to get “safe” software is via Apple’s platform is ignorant at best.

    Must be the same people that think the only way to protect your health against all forms of ailments is using pharmaceuticals and so-called vaccines… natural immunity and other treatments be damned… (even though pharma DEPENDS on our body’s abilities to produce their results).

    Grow up!

    1. FUD much; nothing’s perfect, but you need to read up a bit on measures instilled in the Apple App Store process. True, the App Store isn’t the only place to get safe software, but the pre, post and ongoing process with the App Store involves greater “insurance” that increases safety/security.

      1. @Tad Shobler…. I agree that having ANY oversight over the quality of listing can be good BUT that is just a distraction from the real issue… it is about choice or no choice.

        Just because someone believes they might have the best widget does not mean one should be forced to use it.

  7. Is this going to be based on a software upgrade or hardware based new models? Likewise are we going to be told when this happens or is this going to be lumped on unsuspecting Apple users?

    Frankly, if it’s software based it’s a damn good argument to tell Apple to shove their updates. And if it’s hardware based then it’s also a good argument to stop upgrading to new iPhones. Still, can anyone answer those first two questions?

  8. OK, it’s iCloud based. Glad I don’t use iCloud. In fact I limit any Cloud use to gmail and even then I use it sparingly and the same for all my email clients. Frankly those who use the Cloud should have ask themselves the following question: “Do I trust my data to be stored on someone else’s computer?” I never trusted Cloud backups. I use hard drives. Yeah it’s old fashioned but in many circumstances (gov. agencies, some embassies etc.) have reverted to using typewriters because they’re more secure.

    1. Not sure what you are talking about, but this article is about alternative app stores.

      If you are referring to the scanning of your pictures (and potentially other stuff in the future) then yes it is software based. The upcoming iOS 15 will move scanning software that is now performed server side in the iCloud at Apple to your own device, along with a database of hashtags with regards to child abuse material. From then on the checks will happen client side on your iPhone and objectionable material will be flagged, and inspected and possibly reported by Apple to authorities.

      Clearly, this has resulted in strong debate on both sides of the fence.

      1. Clarification: in the new setup, the possible reporting by Apple to authorities will happen when you decide to upload the pictures to their servers, not before. However, the scanning and flagging against the hashtag database that is downloaded to your iPhone will happen anyways, that can not be avoided.

    1. Yes. Because people would not do that for trivial reasons. They do that because Apple is keeping legitimate stuff that people want off of the Apple store. (And when I listed those things in the other article, people one-stared me for it.)

  9. Tim thought he would get a pass because he supports their agenda. What he failed to see is part of their agenda is Apple being broke up and sucked dry. Next time maybe Tim will read the (metaphoric) bill before he votes for it. Elections have consequences.

    1. That is what you always say, firstfuk. The consequences of removing Mussolini Wannabe have been overwhelming positive. Only you are whining that the US now has to invest to make up for the last 4 years of inaction. Or tweeting, which you apparently think was productive. You wouldn’t have needed a massive infrastructure bill if you hadn’t deferred all maintenance for 4 years. Grow the Fsck up.

      The article is about alternative app stores. To that question, there is only one relevant thought: did an open app loading environment make the Mac unsafe or hard to use? NO !!!!

      If app store freedom works for the Mac, then it should be implemented, by law if necessary, for all digital devices. Set app developers free from Big Tech oligarchs!!!!!

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