US government calls for changes to iOS and Android, says Apple and Google block innovation

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A new report from the U.S. government calls on lawmakers and agencies to force changes to mobile platforms from both Apple and Google, saying the tech companies’ current practices are harmful to competition and consumers. I assume there is.

In 2021, President Biden issued an executive order on competition on the subject, and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration released its findings yesterday.

According to the report, found by, current policies on iOS and Android are not only harming developers, but also impacting consumers “by driving up prices and reducing innovation.” I’m here.

The 50-page report frequently cites Epic Games’ claims in its own antitrust lawsuits against Google and Apple, as well as challenges faced by Microsoft and others trying to bring cloud gaming subscription services to iOS. doing.

It also points out that Meta is struggling to bring its Instant Games service to iOS as Apple classifies the “store-like” interface as a policy violation regarding alternative stores on the platform.

This report provides several recommendations aimed at improving competition and innovation on mobile.

  • Increased resources for U.S. antitrust agencies, including the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division and the Federal Trade Commission
  • A way for users to set third-party apps and alternative app stores as their default and remove or hide pre-installed apps
  • Prevent platform owners from supporting their own competing apps with sensitive business data obtained through third-party apps.
  • Prevent platform owners from prioritizing their apps in anti-competitive ways, such as making your app appear at the top of search results
  • Allow users to download or install third-party apps or alternative app stores through other means than the Google Play Store or Apple App Store (provided, however, that “reasonable privacy, security and safety continue to consider precautionary measures).
  • Ensure third-party web browsers have full functionality and better integration with devices and operating systems
  • Prohibits platform owners from requiring all app developers to use the platform’s in-app payment system, and prohibits developers from informing users about purchases that can be made through the website
  • Greater transparency about the app review process on each platform
  • Enabling tools and standards that make it easier for developers to develop for both iOS and Android simultaneously

The report also calls for further research by Congress and related agencies.

  • Other ways to improve competition in the mobile ecosystem
  • Claims of unfairness and fear of retaliation against developers who question platform systems and limitations
  • Best practices for sideloading apps
  • Technical restrictions on gaming and streaming app subscriptions, such as renewal requirements and billing issues

Back in November, the UK regulator, the Competition and Markets Authority, launched its own investigation into Apple’s restrictions on cloud gaming services on iOS.

Meanwhile, EU digital market law puts pressure on mobile platform owners to allow sideloading of apps and not block payments through third-party systems.

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