Proposed antitrust legislation bans companies from making pre-installed apps unremovable

Cal Jeffrey

Posts: 3,038   +817
Staff member
In brief: As regulators continue to probe big tech companies over monopolistic behavior, legislators in the US are already introducing several antitrust bills that would affect how companies like Apple, Google, Amazon, and others operate. One of them would demand that users be given the option to uninstall pre-installed apps.

In the wake of last year's congressional antitrust investigations, lawmakers have proposed a new bill that would force Apple and other smartphone makers to make their default apps removable by the user. For instance, iPhone users would have to have the ability to uninstall Apple's Phone, Clock, Messages, Mail, FaceTime, and other default apps if they choose.

"It would be equally easy to download the other five apps as the Apple one, so they're not using their market dominance to favor their own products and services," Democratic Representative David Cicilline told Bloomberg.

It's worth mentioning that Apple had already made moves to allow the deletion of some of its default apps before Congress even introduced the bill. Notes, Mail, Calendar, Weather, and even FaceTime can be fully uninstalled. Other apps, including Phone, Messages, Clock, Wallet, and Watch, cannot be removed but can be hidden from view.

Additionally, the legislation does not explicitly target Apple or smartphone makers in general. It also prohibits tech companies outside the realm of hardware manufacturing from "self-preferring" products. For instance, Amazon's Prime subscription service would have to be restructured since it "disadvantages some sellers who rely on the e-commerce platform," Cicilline said.

Bloomberg asked Cicilline if Microsoft would fall into the bill's restrictions. However, the lawmaker gave a vague answer saying it would be up to the US Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission to make that determination. There are also a couple of limitations to the bill. For one, it only applies to products and services with more than 50 million monthly active users. Secondly, the owning company must have a market capitalization of $600 billion or more.

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m4a4

Posts: 2,421   +2,745
TechSpot Elite
This is one of the few regulations that I think might actually do some good. Closer and closer to being able to use the devices we own the way we want. If only they'd let us jailbreak our devices to use what OS we want
Well, I've seen that a R2R was introduced in the US federally. Maybe that'll get the ball rolling...
 

Eldritch

Posts: 324   +500
Please word it to include services not just apps since even after removing Facebook somehow its services remain. Ditto for lots of other intrusive collab apps.

Also, enforce removal of forced co-dependencies.
Let me explain, You want to remove our inbuilt phone tracking app/service? Well that would mean power optimization won't work!
Why?
Because if we dont send data to our servers about what apps you are using and maybe even what you are typing then our power management wont work!
And similar other BS forcing users to trap in a cage must be done away with. Let's hope they do their homework and cover their bases properly. (Hah!)
 

QuantumPhysics

Posts: 5,009   +5,620
That's RIDICULOUS.

so you're telling me I'd be able to remove Phone, SMS and Maps from my phone?

That's a base function of my phone.

Hell, I'm still trying to make sure the base STOCKS app is on all my devices.

If you don't like it - DON'T BUY.

Apple should not capitulate in this communist stupidity one bit.
 

m4a4

Posts: 2,421   +2,745
TechSpot Elite
That's RIDICULOUS.

so you're telling me I'd be able to remove Phone, SMS and Maps from my phone?

That's a base function of my phone.

Hell, I'm still trying to make sure the base STOCKS app is on all my devices.

If you don't like it - DON'T BUY.

Apple should not capitulate in this communist stupidity one bit.
Wow, you still find a way to defend Apple here. I'd say I'm surprised, but I'm not.

As it was said, don't uninstall stuff you need. Apple doesn't need to dictate what people do with owned devices...
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 6,101   +4,341
Finally, the ability to remove the :poop: I never use, do not need, and could care less about.
That's RIDICULOUS.

so you're telling me I'd be able to remove Phone, SMS and Maps from my phone?

That's a base function of my phone.

Hell, I'm still trying to make sure the base STOCKS app is on all my devices.

If you don't like it - DON'T BUY.

Apple should not capitulate in this communist stupidity one bit.
:rolleyes: Good God man! Do you mean that you would actually remove something you know you need and use? Come on! We all know you at least know half of what you are doing, or so it seems, and I, for one, cannot believe you, personally, would be dumb enough to remove something that you need. While what you suggest might be appropriate for those less technically inclined, I am sure that users attempting to do so would easily be warned by the uninstall attempt about the dire consequences of doing so. So, IMO, there is no excuse for giving users the ability to remove anything they want.
 

fl21289

Posts: 271   +342
That's RIDICULOUS.

so you're telling me I'd be able to remove Phone, SMS and Maps from my phone?

That's a base function of my phone.

Hell, I'm still trying to make sure the base STOCKS app is on all my devices.

If you don't like it - DON'T BUY.

Apple should not capitulate in this communist stupidity one bit.
This guy lmao. Please tell me you aren't serious. Communist is forcing everyone to only use your product and brand/app...
 

captaincranky

Posts: 16,962   +5,732
This is pretty much an offshoot of the EU Courts, forcing M$ to put other browser choices in Windows, instead of only Internet explorer.

I often wonder how that's going.
 

Tom Yum

Posts: 100   +232
This is pretty much an offshoot of the EU Courts, forcing M$ to put other browser choices in Windows, instead of only Internet explorer.

I often wonder how that's going.
Well, in 2009 IE's market share in Europe was 65%, and 3 years after the ballet was brought in it was 26%, and 2 years after that it was 16%, so I'd say the ballet did its intended purpose.
 

Danny101

Posts: 1,741   +756
That's RIDICULOUS.

so you're telling me I'd be able to remove Phone, SMS and Maps from my phone?

That's a base function of my phone.

Hell, I'm still trying to make sure the base STOCKS app is on all my devices.

If you don't like it - DON'T BUY.

Apple should not capitulate in this communist stupidity one bit.
There are base necessary apps for sure, but I disagree with the notion of this legislation being communist in nature (even though those proposing it tend to be. Even a broken clock can be right twice a day.). This is not saying these apps can't be there. Just a consumer's right to remove them. If removing an app breaks overall functionality, oh well! Don't complain there unless it really didn't have to be. Like for example: a camera app wanting access to GPS or less it won't work. That's a load of bull from the app maker. Taking a picture has nothing to do with GPS in necessary functionality. Unlike sending a text message still relies on the data functionality of the carrier signal. Clarification and transparency is needed on theses apps and services.