The Biden administration recommended new legislation that makes massive changes to Apple's platform restrictions and App Store policies. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) launched an investigation into competition in mobile app ecosystems in April last year, triggered by an Executive Order from July 2021. The NTIA recently published the "Competition in the Mobile Application Ecosystem" report.
The report recommends that:
Third-party app stores should be permitted
Users should not be prevented from side-loading apps
Requirements that ban developers from using alternative in-app payment systems should be banned
Third-party web browser apps should be able to offer full functionality
Pre-installed apps should be limited
Users should be able to choose their default apps
App store review processes should be more transparent
New legislation and additional antitrust enforcement actions will likely be necessary to remedy existing issues and boost competition in mobile app ecosystems. See the NTIA's full report for more information.
Apple's ecosystem has come under intense scrutiny by governments worldwide in recent years, with global regulators exploring platform restrictions around issues like side-loading, browsers, and interoperability.