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Zippy6 said:

Xbox mobile store could launch as soon as next year if the deal goes through according to Phil Spencer. 

"Xbox boss Phil Spencer, has revealed that Microsoft's Xbox mobile gaming store could launch as early as next year, providing the Activision Blizzard acquisition is approved. Following the rule changes to Apple and Google's app stores, which are expected to be enforced by March 2024"

What are the rule changes coming from March 2024? I assume that Apple has to allow other stores on IOS but Google already does. You can install other appstores on android already. Does google mandate which stores come packaged with a phone currently and that is being changed or something?

With Apple it simply forces them to allow the install of alternative app stores on iOS. As you said though, Google already allows that, so Microsoft has no restrictions in putting an App store onto Android. How it affects Google is in other ways unrelated to an individual App store, such as allowing developers to use competing payment service providers for in-app sales so they can circumvent the charge that Android/iOS enforce.

The issue is that it's still hard because Android/iOS have a large network of consumers who won't navigate outside of it, so ultimately Microsoft would still have to have a presence in the iOS/Android App stores to be a success. So with Apple, it helps Microsoft create an App store, with Google it really doesn't but the act will benefit Microsoft in other ways.

Here is what the CMA is trying to enforce on Apple (which could be directed to Google next).

  1. Compelling Apple, and other app store operators, to review and amend guidelines to ensure cloud gaming providers are not unduly impacted
  2. Allowing prompts that let users know when a cloud gaming app is available as a web app
  3. Making app store approval and rejection processes more transparent and consistent
  4. Enabling sideloading of native apps on iOS
  5. Enabling the distribution of web apps through Apple's App Store
  6. Enabling the installation of alternative app stores on iOS

The Digital Markets Act from EC.

  1. They must allow users to install third party apps or app stores that use or interoperate with the gatekeeper's operating system
  2. They must allow users to easily uninstall pre-installed apps or change default settings on operating systems, virtual assistants and web browsers that steer them to the gatekeeper's own products and services
  3. They must allow businesses that use the gatekeeper's platform to promote external offers and conclude contracts with customers outside the platform
  4. They must not require app developers to use certain services the gatekeeper provides, such as payment systems, in order to have their software appear in the gatekeeper's app store
  5. They must not use any data for business users that compete with them or their own platform

Microsoft's best bet would be if EC/CMA force Apple/Google to allow the advertising of other App stores on the Android/iOS App stores, I think 2 and 5 from CMA might wiggle into that and 3 from the EC. #2 from the EC could match up with what you said.

But I really don't think Google is much of an issue here, I think they're just being grouped in with Apple because it will affect them still in other ways and those ways still benefit Microsoft but Google isn't really a roadblock in creating another App store on Android.

Last edited by Ryuu96 - on 20 March 2023