The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday approved the “Open Markets Act,” an antitrust bill that would force Apple to allow for sideloading and alternate app stores on the iPhone. The bill will now head over to the full Senate for a vote.
Apple’s head of government affairs in the Americas Tim Powderly has sent a letter to committee members, urging them to reject the bill. In the letter, Powderly said the bill, S. 2710, would harm user security and privacy, create expansive liability exposure and legal uncertainty, and would deny consumer choice.
The letter was sent to Senate Judiciary Chair Dick Durbin and ranking Republican Chuck Grassley ahead of their committee’s discussion of the bill.
Sideloading would enable bad actors to evade Apple’s privacy and security protections by distributing apps without critical privacy and security checks. These provisions would allow malware, scams and data-exploitation to proliferate.
Powderly also said that Apple is “deeply concerned” that the legislation in its current form would also “make it easier for big social media platforms to avoid the pro-consumer practices of Apple’s App Store.”
While the bill has bipartisan co-sponsors, which definitely helped it gain approval by the Senate Judiciary Committee. However, it could face a tougher fight in the full Senate.