And we’re not done yet with the EU’s Digital Markets Act, since it contains another important and very consequential regulation: alternative application stores.
“We believe that the owner of a smartphone should have the freedom to choose how to use it,” said European Commission spokesperson Johannes Bahrke in an emailed statement. “This freedom includes being able to opt for alternative sources of apps on your smartphone. With the DMA, a smartphone owner would still be able to enjoy safe and secure services of the default app store on their smart phones. On top of that, if a user so chooses, the DMA would allow a smartphone owner to also opt for other safe app stores.”
In addition to allowing third-party stores on its platform, Apple would also be forced to allow users to install apps from third-party sources (a practice known as sideloading) and to allow developers to use the App Store without using Apple’s payment systems.
This is great news, and a massive step towards wrangling control over our devices back from big corporations. That being said – expect a coordinated onslaught of fear, uncertainty, and doubt towards this provision and the DMA in particular from US tech companies, their US Senators, and “independent” bloggers.
It’s going to be rough out there.