By Hartley Charlton, MacRumors
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has launched an investigation into competition in mobile app ecosystems.
On behalf of the United States Department of Commerce, the NTIA is now requesting comments about competition in mobile app ecosystems. The investigation was triggered by an executive order on Promoting Competition in the American Economy from July last year, with the aim of making recommendations for improving competition, reducing barriers to entry, and maximizing user benefit. President Biden’s executive order explained:
“The American information technology sector has long been an engine of innovation and growth, but today a small number of dominant Internet platforms use their power to exclude market entrants, to extract monopoly profits, and to gather intimate personal information that they can exploit for their own advantage. Too many small businesses across the economy depend on those platforms and a few online marketplaces for their survival…”
The formal request for comment lists in detail how iOS is likely to come under scrutiny as part of the investigation, with questions related to benefits of developing a standalone app for a platform compared to cross-platform web apps, how web apps should operate on mobile platforms, the availability of other methods of app distribution, and app sideloading. Particular attention is given to iOS’s “unique barriers” that prevent users and developers from taking advantage of web apps, apps from alternative app stores, or sideloaded apps.
[Sideloading is a key issue in Cary-based Epic Games’ antitrust lawsuit against Apple.]
For more details, read the full story at MacRumors: