New US Government Investigation Will Look At Sideloading And Web Apps On iOS

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has announced a new investigation into the way mobile app ecosystems work, with iOS set to be one of the main targets.

The investigation is now looking into how competition works in the world of app stores on mobile platforms, a move that was prompted by a White House Executive Order on Promoting Competition in the American Economy from last year, reports MacRumors. The whole thing is designed to find ways to improve competition around how apps are installed on mobile devices.

A portion of the executive order reads:

The American information technology sector has long been an engine of innovation and growth, but today a small number of dominant Internet platforms use their power to exclude market entrants, to extract monopoly profits, and to gather intimate personal information that they can exploit for their own advantage. Too many small businesses across the economy depend on those platforms and a few online marketplaces for their survival…

The request for comment relating to the investigation makes it clear that iOS will be a focus. Comments will be requested on the ways apps can be installed on devices including sideloading, while the viability of web apps will also be looked into.

Apple continues to find itself under scrutiny around the world, largely thanks to the stranglehold it has on the way developers and users get apps onto iPhones and iPads. All apps must go via the App Store, something that ensures Apple takes its cut from sales. Unlike Android, iOS does not allow any form of sideloading currently.

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