The European Union is expected to debut new legislation as soon as this month that would force Apple to allow European users to sideload apps and allow them to purchase apps from alternate app stores.
The Wall Street Journal reports that The Digital Markets Act has been in development for some time and a finalized version could be completed as soon as this month. The Cupertino firm will be forced to allow customers in Europe to download apps outside of the app stores, while also allowing developers to use alternate purchase methods.
If Apple fails to comply with the law it could cost the company tens of billions of dollars. So far the iPhone maker’s efforts to defeat the act have been unsuccessful.
In a statement provided to The Wall Street Journal, Apple said the new legislation would “cripple the privacy and security protections” provided by the App Store.
Governments and international agencies world-wide have explicitly advised against sideloading requirements, which would cripple the privacy and security protections that users have come to expect.”
European officials have not been moved by Apple’s arguments, and in July, European Union digital competition chief Margrethe Vestager said that Apple should not use privacy excuses to limit competition. “Customers will not give up neither security nor privacy if they use another app store or if they sideload,” she said.
We currently do not know whether the legislation’s final language will provide Apple some wiggle room to limit sideloading. When the bill is finalized and approved by parliament and member states, it will take effect early next year.