Mark Gurman, Bloomberg:
There are currently two major bills on the table: The Open App Markets Act (S. 2710) and the American Innovation and Choice Online Act (S.2992).
Mark makes the case that neither bill is likely to pass, but this seems more of a reprieve than a sure to fail. Both bills are worth knowing about.
The first bill is The Open App Markets Act. From the bill itself:
The bill prohibits a covered company from (1) requiring developers to use an in-app payment system owned or controlled by the company as a condition of distribution or accessibility, (2) requiring that pricing or conditions of sale be equal to or more favorable on its app store than another app store, or (3) taking punitive action against a developer for using or offering different pricing terms or conditions of sale through another in-app payment system or on another app store.
A covered company may not interfere with legitimate business communications between developers and users, use non-public business information from a third-party app to compete with the app, or unreasonably prefer or rank its own apps (or those of its business partners) over other apps.
In effect, this would force Apple to allow sideloading. As Mark Gurman states:
If passed into law, this would put more than $20 billion per year in Apple revenue at great risk.
The second bill is The American Innovation and Choice Online Act. From that bill:
This bill prohibits certain large online platforms from engaging in specified acts, including giving preference to their own products on the platform, unfairly limiting the availability on the platform of competing products from another business, or discriminating in the application or enforcement of the platform’s terms of service among similarly situated users.
Further, a platform may not materially restrict or impede the capacity of a competing business user to access or interoperate with the same platform, operating system, or hardware or software features. The bill also restricts the platform’s use of nonpublic data obtained from or generated on the platform and prohibits the platform from restricting access to platform data generated by the activity of a competing business user. The bill also provides additional restrictions related to installing or uninstalling software, search or ranking functionality, and retaliation for contact with law enforcement regarding actual or potential violations of law.
The first paragraph of the bill talks about Apple giving preference to its own apps over third party apps (think App Store ratings, exposure).
But to me, the second paragraph has the bigger potential impact. Feels like this would open the door for third party apps to use Private APIs, typically forbidden by Apple. It also opens up any data gathered by Apple, and addresses what seems to be whistleblower retaliation.