Proposed antitrust bills would ban Apple from preinstalling its own iOS apps

Posted:
in General Discussion edited June 18
If enacted into law as-is, a piece of antitrust legislation recently introduced by the U.S. House would make it illegal for Apple to offer first-party preinstalled apps like Pages, Music, and Maps on iPhone.

Credit: Andrew O'Hara, AppleInsider
Credit: Andrew O'Hara, AppleInsider


The U.S. House earlier in June introduced five sweeping antitrust bills aimed at curbing the market power of tech giants like Apple. According to U.S. House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee chairman Rep. David Cicilline, one of those bills would mean that Apple couldn't preinstall its own apps if those apps competed with rivals on the App Store.

"It would be equally easy to download the other five apps as the Apple one so they're not using their market dominance to favor their own products and services," Cicilline told reporters on Wednesday.

Instead of automatically preinstalling apps, Apple would need to offer its own apps alongside third-party options. That could mean seeing a prompt to install Zoom or Skype alongside FaceTime, or WhatsApp alongside iMessage.

The Ending Platform Monopolies Act was among the five antitrust bills introduced by lawmakers on June 11. It specifically makes it illegal for technology companies to operate a line of business that creates a conflict of interest.

Cicilline also claimed that the bill would affect Amazon, which operates a digital marketplace but also sells its own first-party branded products that compete with third-party offerings.

The U.S. House Judiciary Committee is slated to review and modify the five bills in late June.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 67
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,653member
    So if I build my own phone and my own os, and sell it as a single product, I would be barred from loading my own apps on it?

    F**k you politicians.  

    I see no scenario where Apple would ever let this happen.  If passed, it will be forever tied up in the courts.  The iPhone has plenty of competition.  There is zero point to this.
    iyfcalvinthtpichaelCesar Battistini MazieroStrangeDaysItsDeCiabloggerbloglongpathrob53mwhite
  • Reply 2 of 67
    I’m about to call my state Congress Representative and let her know my opinion that she should reject the Bill.   
    Call your or email Congress Person.
    pichaelCesar Battistini MazierobloggerblogmejsricDogpersonAppleUfmyIAnilu_777williamlondonwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 3 of 67
    Cesar Battistini MazieroCesar Battistini Maziero Posts: 193unconfirmed, member
    How is this a thing!!!???

    You create a product and can't put software in it?

    WTF?
    longpathDogpersonAppleUfmyIzeus423williamlondonrandominternetpersonbaconstangwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 4 of 67
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,385member
    Will grocers be required to bid out their in-house bakery space or in-house pharmaceutical clones? Or can they still pre-load them?

    There is such a disconnect here.

    MS got into monopoly trouble not for merely including IE with Windows, but for using their dominance in the OS space to force desired behavior from partners -- specifically denying OEM computer makers needed Windows licenses unless they promised to stop including Netscape with their computers. That was the anti-competitive behavior. Apple has not done the equivalent of that.
    edited June 16 longpathbloggerblogJapheyequality72521AppleUfmyIwilliamlondonp-dogwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 5 of 67
    This is wrong.  First off I am an IOS user and I do not mind in today’s world getting apps from Apple, installed by Apple, for Apple product that I purchase. I like several things about that.  Continued development of the product, no charge updates for the apps, as well as support for the product.  For one instance I have tried Several calendar apps and I could purchase them as well as pay monthly, but I like the included apple app. Same with the notes app, however for a more featured note app, yes I have purchased several and use them for specific reasons. As for PDF’s, yes I have punched a an app and pay a yearly fee to use it over the included Apple app, because it contained features that Apple did not have.  I think in the end the Apple included apps do not stifle 3rd party apps but in reality they spur additional apps, free and or otherwise with increased functionality over that which Apple offers. 
    viclauyycAnilu_777williamlondonbaconstangwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 67
    rcfarcfa Posts: 994member
    What needs to end is either the walled garden or the AppStore monopoly, it should also be possible to delete Apple’s apps to free up storage, not just hide them.

    It should also be possible for the user to let apps access hardware info, but it should require user consent and be tied to apps with strict privacy policies.

    In other words the restrictions on what sort of apps users may run on their own hardware need to go; but not Apple’s ability to provide an integrated solution.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 7 of 67
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,134member
    So you get a phone that's useless because it has no apps to do anything. Are they then going to say the app store is a monopoly, so the app store app will have to be removed and you will have no way of getting an app?

    Just how is a free app hurting consumers?
    StrangeDaysFileMakerFellerretrogustoDogpersonzeus423williamlondonrandominternetpersonbaconstangwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 8 of 67
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,385member
    rcfa said:
    What needs to end is either the walled garden or the AppStore monopoly, it should also be possible to delete Apple’s apps to free up storage, not just hide them.

    It should also be possible for the user to let apps access hardware info, but it should require user consent and be tied to apps with strict privacy policies.

    In other words the restrictions on what sort of apps users may run on their own hardware need to go; but not Apple’s ability to provide an integrated solution.
    Disagree. The entire value proposition of iOS is the fact that because of its App Store, it is impossible to fuck up your iPhone, no matter what you install. Nor can apps circumvent security by accessing low-level hardware directly. The dev APIs are what guarantee this safety for users like my senior parents, who have been duped and scammed w/ their Windows desktops of yesteryear. 

    The App Store is no more a market monopoly than McDonald's (or, better, a food court landlord) is a monopoly of its own business -- they control the menu, the vendors, and what is offered to customers. You can't force them to sell sushi and you can't open a taco truck on their parking lot. You either work with them, or you open your own restaurant and compete with them. Many do, just as Apple has platform competitors.
    edited June 16 thtbloggerblogfastasleepviclauyycequality72521DogpersonAppleUfmyIzeus423Rayz2016williamlondon
  • Reply 9 of 67
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,277member
    So politicians would basically force Apple and Google to sell non functioning devices to the public?
    longpathFileMakerFellerAppleUfmyIzeus423Rayz2016williamlondonDBSyncrandominternetpersonwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 10 of 67
    JFC_PAJFC_PA Posts: 560member
    MplsP said:
    So you get a phone that's useless because it has no apps to do anything. Are they then going to say the app store is a monopoly, so the app store app will have to be removed and you will have no way of getting an app?

    Just how is a free app hurting consumers?
    Well the app store app IS an app so….

    Simply idiocy. 
    bloggerbloglongpathviclauyycFileMakerFellerrandominternetpersonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 67
    Wow! This flies in the face of what Steve used to always say, “It just works!”

    Well, if the govt has their way, no it won’t, Steve. 
    viclauyyclarryjwDogpersonAppleUfmyIwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 67
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,653member
    rcfa said:
    What needs to end is either the walled garden or the AppStore monopoly, it should also be possible to delete Apple’s apps to free up storage, not just hide them.

    It should also be possible for the user to let apps access hardware info, but it should require user consent and be tied to apps with strict privacy policies.

    In other words the restrictions on what sort of apps users may run on their own hardware need to go; but not Apple’s ability to provide an integrated solution.
    That you want the iPhone to work just like an Android phone is wrong on every level.  You want that functionality?  Go the the COMPETITION.  Apple's business model is why it's so popular and has such brand loyalty.

    Android is where you want to be at, with the countless garbage phones to fill your needs along with a multitude of malware-infested apps to your heart's content.

    I'll even hold the door open for you on your way out.
    longpathviclauyycFileMakerFellerDogpersonRayz2016muthuk_vanalingamwilliamlondondavbaconstangwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 67
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,941member
    Will grocers be required to bid out their in-house bakery space or in-house pharmaceutical clones? Or can they still pre-load them?

    There is such a disconnect here.

    MS got into monopoly trouble not for merely including IE with Windows, but for using their dominance in the OS space to force desired behavior from partners -- specifically denying OEM computer makers needed Windows licenses unless they promised to stop including Netscape with their computers. That was the anti-competitive behavior. Apple has not done the equivalent of that.
    No they will not since these new rules only apply to companies with a Market Cap of $600 bill. This law most likely will fail on this rule alone since in the US laws must be applies equally, you can not favor or disfavor any one or company over another.
    viclauyycFileMakerFellerAppleUfmyIDBSyncp-dogwatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 67
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,941member
    rcfa said:
    What needs to end is either the walled garden or the AppStore monopoly, it should also be possible to delete Apple’s apps to free up storage, not just hide them.

    It should also be possible for the user to let apps access hardware info, but it should require user consent and be tied to apps with strict privacy policies.

    In other words the restrictions on what sort of apps users may run on their own hardware need to go; but not Apple’s ability to provide an integrated solution.

    The fact that Apple make apps only interface to the OS and Hardware via API is the reason that apps always work across all hardware Apple produces and from version to version of Hardware and software. In the Mac world you can always tell the good developers verse the hacks, the apps that did not break when Apple updates the OS or comes out with a new computer, these developer understand how to program within the API and Apple guidelines. On the Mac the system still allowed developers to address the hardware directly, but with the phones this is not easily done which make for a stable product.
    viclauyycRayz2016watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 67
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,833member
    Short sighted dum basses. 

    iMessage, FaceTime, etc are features of the iPhone. It’s not like Windows and IE. 

    Some People get the iPhone for those feature. 

    Perhaps instead Apple should provide a page on the App Store that lists apps from direct competitors. 
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 67
    thttht Posts: 3,980member
    Hard to see how this passes constitutional muster, but judges are people too with their own set of motivated reasoning, so who knows.

    On the "be careful what you wish for" department, all these developers asking governments to force Apple's platforms to be like MS Windows or Android, I think what is likely to happen is that they make less money. An iOS user spends about 2x to 3x more on apps than an Android user, and probably even more than that than a Windows user. Hence, why all the complaints are over Apple's App Store, even though Apple has minority share worldwide, with a sprinkling of some countries where they are over 50%. Hardly any whining about the Google Play Store.

    The App Store buys trust. That's what the 15/30% buys developers. Trust. Users are more freely willing to spend money when there has been a modicum of filtering and checking for apps along with easy ways to get refunds and to unsubscribe. Same thing with Amazon's Marketplace.

    If there is sideloading and alternate application stores, all we would see is Balkanization, less quality apps and less spending on apps. There will be a Facebook App Store, Amazon App Store, Microsoft App Store, developers who will rely solely on sideloading. All this would mean is the middle to lower class of app developers will lose. The rich get richer, everyone else gets poorer. Indie development will only be harder. Not only that, apps will cost more because they won't be competing in a unified marketplace anymore. Exclusivity to a particular App Store protects them from competition.

    Users won't buy or spend as much money on apps because it is just going to be harder, not as safe, and it is all but inevitable to have pirated apps, malware apps and ransomware apps. Once users see that, the wallets stay closed.

    But, long way to go here, as it hard to see how this passes constitutional muster, let alone actual legislation passing.
    viclauyycFileMakerFellerDogpersonwilliamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 67
    AppleZuluAppleZulu Posts: 1,103member
    rcfa said:
    What needs to end is either the walled garden or the AppStore monopoly, it should also be possible to delete Apple’s apps to free up storage, not just hide them.

    It should also be possible for the user to let apps access hardware info, but it should require user consent and be tied to apps with strict privacy policies.

    In other words the restrictions on what sort of apps users may run on their own hardware need to go; but not Apple’s ability to provide an integrated solution.
    This is a recipe for a complete meltdown of user privacy and device security. No thanks.
    FileMakerFellerDogpersonRayz2016williamlondonbaconstangp-dogwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 18 of 67
    So I have to suck up metered bandwidth now for apps 98% of customers will use?
    AppleUfmyIwatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 67
    viclauyycviclauyyc Posts: 664member
    People should have option to opt out politicians in their districts. Or choose representative from other states as their own. 
    larryjwFileMakerFellerretrogustoDogpersonzeus423baconstangwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 20 of 67
    AppleZuluAppleZulu Posts: 1,103member
    Next up, let's not allow automakers to include factory sound systems in cars. Instead, they have to leave the hole open for any after-market radio you want to install. For that matter, they shouldn't be able to pre-install any component for which there is a third-party competitor. Tires, wheels, brakes, fog lights, headlights, floor mats, shocks, turbos, tailpipes, seat covers, seats, wiper blades, wipers, windshields, sunroofs, moon-roofs, batteries, belts, oil, coolant, the list goes on. Let's break the automakers' monopoly on car components they want to force you to take preinstalled on your new car!
    nealc5JosephAUretrogustomejsriczeus423williamlondonbaconstangwatto_cobrajony0
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