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Why it matters: Currently, Apple requires all iOS web browsers to use WebKit – the engine powering its Safari browser. Many consider this policy anti-competitive, and it may become a target of the European Union's upcoming Digital Markets Act.
Recently, an unpublished draft of European Union legislation leaked. The new draft of the Digital Markets Act (DMA) adds language singling out web browser engines for protection against "gatekeepers." It reads like a direct attack on Apple's requirement that iOS browsers use its WebKit engine.
The legislation says that when a gatekeeper imposes a browser engine on developers, it effectively controls functionality for a platform's browsers and other apps built on web software. If the DMA takes effect with this language, it could force Apple to allow alternative browser engines, such as Chromium. On PCs, Chromium is the basis for Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Opera, and many other browsers.
Developers will likely celebrate the new regulation. Earlier this year, a group of developers formed Open Web Advocacy, with the end of Apple's WebKit requirement as its main goal. The group says imposing WebKit on developers stifles innovation and threatens the entire future of app development.
Web browsers aren't the only area where the DMA attacks Apple's policy. In March, the European Council and European Parliament agreed on the language for the law that would force platform holders like Google and Apple to allow alternate payment methods and app sideloading. Apple will certainly try to fight the legislation.