BRUSSELS, Oct 13 (Reuters) - Apple Inc on Wednesday
ramped up its criticism of EU draft rules that would force it to
allow users to install software from outside its App Store,
saying that would boost the risk of cybercriminals and malware.
But the Coalition for App Fairness, which includes Spotify,
Match Group and Epic Games, dismissed Apple's arguments, saying
that built-in security measures such as encrypted data and
antivirus programmes provide security to devices, not its App
The group wants regulators to loosen Apple's grip on its App
Store so they can bypass it to reach Apple's hundreds of
millions of users and also to avoid paying commissions of up to
30% for purchases made in the Store.
The iPhone maker has been a fierce critic of EU antitrust
chief Margrethe Vestager's proposed rules, announced last year
in a bid to rein in Apple, Amazon, Facebook and
Alphabet unit Google.
Building on CEO Tim Cook's comments in June about the risks
to privacy and security of iPhones, Apple on Wednesday published
an analysis on the threats of so-called side-loading.
"If Apple were forced to support sideloading, more harmful
apps would reach users because it would be easier for
cybercriminals to target them even if sideloading were limited
to third-party app stores only," the report said.
It warned of malicious apps migrating to third-party stores
and infecting consumer devices, while users would have less
control over downloaded apps.
The study cited figures from cybersecurity services provider
Kaspersky Lab which showed nearly six million attacks per month
affected Android mobile devices.
A lawyer for the group, Damien Geradin, said side-loading
was just a distraction.
"What matters to us is the obligation imposed on developers
whose apps sell digital goods and services to use Apple In-App
payment system," he told Reuters.
"On that Apple's security claims have no legs. Alternative
payment solutions provided by Stripe, Adyen or Paypal are as
safe as IAP," he said.
The draft EU rules also target these practices.
Apple also took a swipe at digital advertisers with whom it
is at loggerheads over its new privacy controls designed to
limit them from tracking iPhone users.
"Large companies that rely on digital advertising allege
that they have lost revenue due to these privacy features, and
may therefore have an incentive to distribute their apps via
sideloading specifically to bypass these protections," the
Vestager's draft rules need the green light from EU
lawmakers and EU countries before they can become law, likely to
be in 2023.
(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Mark Potter and David