Today’s Cache | Apple finds a supporter in Roblox

Today’s Cache is a daily column on the happenings in the world of tech and corporations

Updated - April 05, 2022 09:15 pm IST

Published - April 05, 2022 04:26 pm IST

File photo

File photo

Lawmakers in Europe and Asia have moved against Apple’s App Store dominance in the past few years. The marketplace’s monopolistic reach has been criticised in both the continents.

In Asia, South Korea’s competition regulator passed a legislation that makes Apple open its iPhone to another digital marketplace. The legislation curtails Apple and Google from forcing app developers to use their in-app payment system.  

Europe is making changes to how tech giants run their businesses in the region. Last week, the European Commission unveiled a Digital Markets Act (DMA), intended to rein the power of Big Tech firms, including Apple. The act aims to curtail the power of “gatekeeper” corporations; Apple is one of them.

Commenting on DMA in 2021, Apple’s head of engineering services Craig Federighi said the “European policymakers have often been ahead of the curve, but requiring sideloading on iPhone would be a step backward.”

While EU and Asia are tightening their grip over Big Tech, the U.S. has been moving at snail’s pace. And there hasn’t been any legislative changes to regulate Big Tech firms operating in the country.

The case against Apple’s App Store in the U.S. has been running for two years now. Epic Games, which sued the iPhone maker, largely lost its case on whether Apple’s fees and payment rules for app makers were anti-competitive.

And Apple’s App Store continues to have a regulation-free run in the country. The company says its policy against allowing “side-loading” apps provides users privacy and safety.

Another gaming company supports Apple. Roblox, an online gaming platform, noted that the Cupertino-based company’s marketplace offers privacy and safety to its users.

“Apple’s process for review and approval of apps available on the App Store enhances safety and security, and provides those apps greater legitimacy in the eyes of users,” the gaming company said in a legal filing last week.

But Roblox’s affirmation has to be taken with a pinch of salt. The company is fighting its own content moderation battle as sex games, known as “condos”, are scattered on its platform, which is accessed by children around the world.

The company acknowledged the problem, according to a report by BBC. “We know there is an extremely small subset of users who deliberately try to break the rules,” it told the news organisation.

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