As the EU debates its Digital Markets Act, calls have grown louder for manufacturers to remove all applications pre-installed on new phones in order to combat the oligopoly of “gatekeepers” such as Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft.
Section 6 of the forthcoming Digital Markets Act (DMA), which “allows end-users to uninstall any pre-installed software application […] without prejudice” still leaves scope for pre-installed apps on new phones.
“By setting their app as the default, Big Tech gatekeepers are blocking out their competitors’ apps from the vast majority of smartphones,” writes ProtonMail on its blog.
According to ITIF’s innovation and antitrust director, Aurelien Portuese, default settings are inherent in the life of businesses.
However, for Renew MEP Yon-Courtin, consumers cannot currently “make a free, informed and simple choice about their installed search engine.”
Google is said to rely on this status quo to encourage people to use its apps, including those concerned about weak privacy protection.
After all, the new competition rules will only directly apply to large companies acting as ‘gatekeepers’. »