A major bill being considered in the European Union could have a massive effect on ongoing matters of contention at Apple, including the ban of Fortnite and the effort to force app developers to use payment methods that run through Apple services. The Digital Markets Act is aimed at forcing Apple to allow third-party app stores, as well as being able to install apps from third-party sources (known commonly as sideloading).
The latest on the Digital Markets Act was shared in recent reporting by The Verge. The goal of the bill, as shared by European Commission spokesperson Johannes Bahrke, is to put the put control of Apple devices more in the hands of the customer who purchases them.
“We believe that the owner of a smartphone should have the freedom to choose how to use it,” Bahrke said. “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.”
The Digital Markets Act could mark a major twist in the ongoing legal contest between Apple and Epic Games. While the DMA is still a provision being considered to be signed into law, it could force Apple’s hand when it comes to bans of apps like Fortnite. Under the DMA, Epic Games could feasibly sideload Fortnite onto Apple devices beyond Apple’s control. While the recent US Epic Games vs Apple Case also saw an injunction against Apple that would keep it from punishing developers for third-party apps, the DMA would also ensure that developers have the freedom to put third-party stores on their apps regardless.
While the Digital Markets Act is still under review, it will be interesting to see if it passes as it could have a major effect on various Apple restrictions, including those tied to Epic Games and Fortnite. Stay tuned as we continue to watch for further updates.
TJ Denzer posted a new article, EU law could force Apple to allow sideloading of third-party apps
That also covers Microsoft as well which found force them to allow another App Store on the Xbox.