As the Digital Markets Act antitrust law passed in the European Union, Apple has until March 2024 to let users in Europe install iOS apps outside the App Store. Although Apple has yet to say a word about how it will do this, regulators around the world have also been considering applying the same demands to the company – and Japan could be the next country to do so.
Japan wants to force Apple to allow sideloading on iOS
According to a report in Nikkei Asia on Tuesday, the Japanese regulator is preparing antitrust legislation that will require big tech companies like Apple and Google to allow third-party app stores, as well as alternative payment methods for any apps. In other words, forcing Apple to allow sideloading in iOS.
The legislation is expected to be sent to parliament next year and focuses on four areas: app stores and payments, search, browsers, and operating systems. If approved, the Japan Fair Trade Commission will be able to impose fines on companies that violate the new legislation. More details are expected to be revealed by spring 2024.
In 2020, the Japanese government began investigating Google, Apple, Amazon, and Facebook over antitrust concerns. In the same year, many Japanese developers expressed dissatisfaction with the App Store’s business model. In 2023, the Japanese regulator completed its study and concluded that the mobile app market is dominated by Apple and Google.
According to the local government, the new legislation would allow Japanese companies to have their own app stores on platforms like iOS and Android. It would also allow developers to opt for payment systems from local fintechs with lower fees.
Apple will soon have to comply with the EU’s DMA
The new Japanese antitrust legislation is very similar to the European Union’s Digital Markets Act in many ways. The DMA requires Apple to allow developers to distribute their iOS apps outside the App Store. Third-party apps will also be allowed to use third-party payment platforms for in-app purchases.
According to many reports, Apple has been working under the hood to enable sideloading in iOS in regions where the company is forced to do so. Unsurprisingly, the company has no plans to make sideloading available to everyone.
A few months ago, Apple vice president of software engineering Craig Federighi acknowledged that Apple will have to comply with European Union legislation. However, on other occasions, Federighi and other Apple executives have taken a stand against sideloading, arguing that distributing apps outside the app store would be dangerous for users.
FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.