A US law could force Apple to allow alternative app stores on iOS


A new bill in the state of North Dakota in the United States proposes to ban the monopoly on application stores in operating systems on devices. Thus, Google and Apple may have to change their services in order to operate in this state, but most likely, such a law could change the platforms in the country, but also outside it, other states may propose projects. using this precedent as an example.

North Dakota law could “open” the doors of the iOS platform

Bill 2333 proposed by the North Dakota Senate is specifically written to protect companies from monopolar practices on app stores. It wants to offer more freedom of choice both in terms of the store, offering the possibility of the emergence of alternatives, and in terms of payment methods. This law seems to fit perfectly with what Epic Games was demanding last year, when it tried to overcome Apple and Google’s limitations on payment methods.

“This law aims to bring all application developers in North Dakota to the same competitive level and protect customers from the devastating and monopolar commissions imposed by large technology companies.”, said Senator Kyle Davidson. He criticizes the 30% fee that Apple and Google charge for each transaction, saying that they lead to higher prices and limit freedom of choice.

There are three main points in this bill that could seriously affect the businesses of Apple, Google and other companies that offer similar digital distribution services. They describe what platform owners will not be allowed to do if this law is passed:

  • The owner of the platform will not be able to force a developer to use a certain distribution platform exclusively
  • The platform owner will not be able to force developers to use an in-app proprietary payment system exclusively to download or purchase digital goods
  • The platform owner will not be allowed to punish the application developer for choosing an alternative store or alternative payment method.

Under this law, Apple would be required to allow the development of other methods of distributing applications on its platform, ie alternative stores, and the possibility for application developers to sell content even through applications on the App Store, without pay the commission to Apple. While Google already allows alternative stores, the company will no longer be able to block apps that try to sell content without going through its fee-paying payment system.

Point 3 protects developers of fixed application actions such as those that Apple and Google have taken against Epic Games. Both companies removed Fortnite from the store offerings, and Apple even disabled the Epic Games developer account for non-compliance with the App Store regulations.

North Dakota Law 2333 would only apply to app stores that exceed $ 10 million in annual revenue.

source: The Verge


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