Anew draft of the EU’s Digital Services Act states that businesses should not be enabled to pre-install their own apps on hardware such as laptops and smartphones.
As reported by the Financial Times:
According to Bloomberg, the new legislation, due to be unveiled in December, will also force platforms to share customer data with business rivals, and prevent them from preferencing their own services in searches:
The EU says it wants to “constrain unfair behavior”, and in a separate document criticized gatekeeping, suggesting platforms should not be able to provide special treatment in online searches or mediation for their own services. It also says users should not be restricted from uninstalling any of the apps on a device.
The move would, of course, be a massive blow to vendors like Apple, other smartphone makers, and indeed tablet and laptop vendors who ship pre-installed software on all of their devices as a matter of course.
Proposed laws also suggest Facebook and Google would have to submit to annual audits of their advertising metrics. Reports note these proposals are in the early stages and could look very different by the time they are finalized. They would also need the backing of member states and the European Parliament, so are likely years away from becoming reality.