The U.S. National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) issued an announcement today with the intention of forcing Apple and Google to open up their third-party app stores to improve the user experience by increasing competition. This means that the U.S. may follow the European market by requiring Apple and Google to open up their third-party app stores.
The NTIA said in an announcement today, “NTIA Calls for Changes to Promote Competition in the Mobile App Market,” that the existing mobile app store model of the Apple App Store and Google Play Store is harmful to consumers and developers, and recommended policy changes to address the problem.
The NTIA said in the announcement that the existing policies of Apple and Google have raised the price of applications and reduced innovation in the industry and that the ultimate victim is the consumer, and the Biden administration, in promoting innovation and competition and fair economic competition, wants to require the two companies to open up third-party app stores through mandatory means.
The report mentions two problems with Apple and Google’s existing app store operating model.
The app stores are largely controlled by Apple and Google, and consumers are largely unable to access apps from other sources. This means that innovators have very limited access to consumers.
Apple and Google put up barriers for developers to attract users by imposing technical restrictions. Examples include limiting how apps work or requiring developers to go through a slow and opaque review process.