Telegram, the messaging app, has become the latest company to file a formal antitrust complaint to the EU over Apple’s App Store.
In a complaint to EU competition chief Margrethe Vestager, Telegram, which has more than 400 million users, said Apple must “allow users to have the opportunity of downloading software outside of the App Store.”
Allowing applications from outside the App Store is the bare minimum of what our governments must mandate from Apple (and other platform makers with similar restrictions). I will go several steps further: all software and firmware on devices shipping to consumers must be open source. No exceptions.
To function in a modern western society, computers – smartphone, desktop, laptop – are required. They have become a hugely important pillar of our society, and yet, our devices are controlled not by society or our governments, but by large corporations who don’t have to answer to anyone.
This is unacceptable. Access to vital parts of our society are getting more and more restricted to computers, and this means we should have the right to control them, so we can prevent people being locked out because of opaque App Store rules or foreign government interference. If all these devices are open – open source, down to the firmware – we will never be locked out by anyone.
Imagine having to file your taxes, but for some reason Apple decided to not approve the latest update to the government app you’re supposed to use and remove it from the App Store. Is that the future we should want?
I never investigated this area in depth, but if for example Spotify has to pay 30% commission on all sales to Apple and on top of that Apple is pushing for a high market share with its own service, Apple Music. This indeed does read as the textbook example of an abuse of monopoly power.
I am not saying that I don´t agree but this won´t go anywhere. If thet agree with this they would have to do the same with game consoles.