SPY396.92+7.29 1.87%
DIA318.84+6.42 2.05%
IXIC11,535.28+180.66 1.59%

US Government Investigates Apple's App Sideloading and Webapp Restrictions

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) is investigating the limitations imposed by Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) on its mobile application ecosystem on behalf of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Benzinga · 04/30/2022 15:53

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) is investigating the limitations imposed by Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) on its mobile application ecosystem on behalf of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

What Happened: The Department of Commerce requested comments from the NTIA through an executive order on Promoting Competition in the American Economy issued in July 2021, according to a Friday MacRumors report. The investigation aims to make recommendations for improving competition, reducing barriers to entry, and maximizing user benefit.

See Also: APPLE STOCK FORECAST

The executive order recognizes that the nation's "information technology sector has long been an engine of innovation and growth" but also raises concern that "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." The order points out that many small businesses depend on those platforms for their survival, which should be good reason for regulating them.

The formal request for comment issued earlier this month notes that the iOS application ecosystem is likely to end up under scrutiny and asks questions related to the benefits of developing a standalone app for a platform compared to cross-platform web apps. Other questions raised concern how web apps should operate on mobile systems, the availability of alternative app distribution methods and application sideloading.

The document highlights iOS' "unique barriers" preventing users and developers from taking full advantage of web applications or side-loading apps.

The paper reads: "The app economy is becoming a fundamental way that Americans interact with their environment. [...] Thus, it is critical that this market be robust, open, innovative, and secure—and without barriers to entry and growth."