Apple software exec warns European app store regulation would open ‘Pandora’s box’


  • Proposed European regulation that could force Apple to allow iPhone users to install software from the web would open “Pandora’s box” and could pose threats to entire networks of computers, Apple software head Craig Federighi said in a speech.
  • The remarks represent an escalation in Apple’s rhetoric about what could go wrong if Apple was forced to change its App Store policies.



Craig Federighi, Senior Vice President Software Engineering speaks during Apple's annual world wide developer conference (WWDC) in San Jose, California, U.S. June 5, 2017.


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Craig Federighi, Senior Vice President Software Engineering speaks during Apple’s annual world wide developer conference (WWDC) in San Jose, California, U.S. June 5, 2017.

Proposed European regulation that could force Apple to allow iPhone users to install software from the web would open ‘”Pandora’s box” and could pose threats to entire networks of computers, Apple software senior vice president Craig Federighi said in a speech on Wednesday.

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The remarks at Web Summit in Lisbon, Portugal represent an escalation in Apple’s rhetoric about what could go wrong if Apple is forced to change its App Store policies. Regulators and lawmakers around the world are scrutinizing the company’s control over iPhone software.

Apple is particularly concerned about the Digital Markets Act, which CEO Tim Cook has previously said would result in Apple being forced to allow “sideloading,” or the ability to install iPhone apps from the web instead of through Apple’s App Store.

“European policymakers have often been ahead of the curve,” Federighi said. “But requiring sideloading on iPhone would be a step backward. Instead of creating choice, it could open up a Pandora’s Box of unreviewed malware and software.”

The European Commission, the executive arm of the EU, presented the Digital Markets Act last December. The Act is designed to stop companies like Apple, Google and Meta, the company previously known as Facebook, from abusing their power. It contains a series of rules that would require them to open up their platforms to competitors. Failure to comply could result in fines as high as 10% of the companies’ worldwide annual revenue.

In a report filed with the U.S. SEC last month, Apple specifically named the Digital Markets Act and said that, if enacted, it could require changes to…

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