U.S. Senate Panel Approves Antitrust Bill That Would Allow Sideloading

The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee today approved the American Innovation and Choice Online Act, which means it will now move on to the Senate floor for a vote, reports The Wall Street Journal.

iOS App Store General Feature JoeBlue
The bill, which was first introduced over the summer, would require major changes to the App Store if passed in its current incarnation. It is designed to prevent "dominant platforms" from "abusing their gatekeeper power" by favoring their own products and services over those of competitors.

It would enable sideloading, a process by which iPhone and iPad users would be able to use alternate app stores or other means to install apps on their devices outside of the ‌App Store‌. Earlier this week, Apple's Senior Director of Government Affairs Timothy Powderly said that implementing such a change would cause consumers to face "malware, ransomware, and scams."

Sideloading would "hurt competition and discourage innovation" by making it "much harder" to protect the privacy and security of personal devices in the United States, according to Apple.

Apple urged the Senate Judiciary Committee not to approve the act, but it will now advance. Several senators have suggested that they want to see changes implemented before voting in favor of the measure, so it could ultimately be toned down.

Senator Dianne Feinstein criticized the bill and said that it targets a "small number of specific companies," and Senator Alex Padilla said that it was difficult to "see the justification for a bill that regulates the behavior of only a handful of companies while allowing everyone else to continue engaging in that exact same behavior."

Other senators have complained that the bill in its current incarnation is not specific enough and could ultimately result in "collateral damage."

The bill is aimed specifically at Apple, Google, Facebook, and Amazon, but amendments will see it also including large foreign-owned tech platforms like TikTok. The Senate Judiciary Committee will also soon hear additional bills that also target tech companies.

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Top Rated Comments

BradWI Avatar
18 weeks ago
Time for Apple to block all but their barebones base level APIs from apps that don't go through the App Store.

If developers don't want to pay Apple anything, they shouldn't reap the rewards from the billions Apple has spent on development of iOS and hardware over the years.
Score: 64 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MrTangent Avatar
18 weeks ago
Say goodbye to security.
Score: 53 Votes (Like | Disagree)
krspkbl Avatar
18 weeks ago
hope it happens. yeah if you are stupid to install something from a dodgy source it could cause trouble. just don't download from sketchy places.

android, mac os, windows, linux, etc all manage fine letting users download programs from wherever. don't see any reason why iOS would be any different.

apple just wants to keep control and pretend they are keeping users safe. most people can stay safe online. we don't need apple holding our hand. if you download something dangerous then the blame is on you.

side loading isn't a bad thing. it gives you more freedom over your device.

when apple are forced to do this all they need to do is disable it by default. tuck it away in settings and give a warning when enabling it. that way the people too stupid to know what they are doing won't accidentally enable it.
Score: 41 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Wildkraut Avatar
18 weeks ago
Oh it's a day full of great news. :D
Go for it!
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheYayAreaLiving ? Avatar
18 weeks ago

Say goodbye to security.
Good bye to Security and Privacy. It will open up the door access to Melware :(
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Wildkraut Avatar
18 weeks ago

Say goodbye to security.
The beetle of your Avatar looks very insecure, you better revert to original, else you might break your neck one day. :p

Stop sideloading car parts!
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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