Apple would be forced to allow sideloading and third-party app stores under new EU law

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And we’re not done with the EU Digital Markets Act yet, as it contains another important and very consequential regulation: alternative app stores.

“We believe that the owner of a smartphone should have the freedom to choose how to use it,” European Commission spokesman Johannes Bahrke said in an emailed statement. “This freedom includes the ability to switch to other sources of apps on your smartphone. With DMA, a smartphone owner could still enjoy the safe and secure services of the default app store on their smart phones. In addition to this, if a user wishes, DMA would allow a smartphone owner to opt for other safe app stores as well.

In addition to allowing third-party stores on its platform, Apple would also be forced to allow users to install apps from third-party sources (a practice known as sideloading) and allow developers to use the App Store without using Apple’s payment systems.

This is great news and a giant step towards big companies taking over our devices. That being said, expect a coordinated onslaught of fear, uncertainty and doubt towards this provision and the DMA in particular from US tech companies, their US Senators and “independent” bloggers.

It’s going to be tough there.

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