By Natalie DeCoste

Apple has released a new report fighting to retain control over its lucrative App Store as political pressure mounts in Congress against Big Tech companies.

Apple’s new 16-page report entitled “Building a Trusted Ecosystem for Millions of Apps” outlines the company’s existing security process and how impending regulations could impact the security of the iPhone’s ecosystem.

The report responds to one of the new antitrust bills introduced in the House last week. The bill, known as the “American Innovation and Choice Online Act” and introduced by David Cicilline (D-RI,) would give Apple product users more control over which apps to download on their devices. It could also prevent Apple from continuing to block a practice known as sideloading, which is where users install apps directly onto their iPhones without having to go through the company’s App Store.

“Some have suggested that we should create ways for developers to distribute their apps outside of the App Store, through websites or third-party app stores, a process called “sideloading.” Allowing sideloading would degrade the security of the iOS platform and expose users to serious security risks not only on third-party app stores, but also on the App Store,” read the report.

While Apple does allow the practice of sideloading on its computers, the company argues that the model does not work for iPhones because of the sensitive and more personal nature of the information stored on a person’s phone. This argument, and other aspects of the latest report, sound similar to the arguments that Apple presented at trial in its antitrust battle against Epic Games.

During the second week of Apple and Epic’s trial, Apple consistently pushed the narrative that its App Store review policy is a critical security benefit for consumers.

Apple backed up its claims by pointing to a study that found that devices that run on Android had 15 times more infections from malicious software than iPhone devices did. The study found a key reason for the malware was that Android apps “can be downloaded from just about anywhere,” as the devices allow sideloading.

Critics cast doubt on the security of Apple’s app review process, noting numerous examples of scam apps slipping through its review. Some of those scams include apps that hide casinos in kids’ games or others that charge extortionately high subscription fees.

Other tech companies also expressed disapproval of the proposed antitrust bills, including e-commerce giant Amazon. Amazon’s Vice President of Policy, Brian Huseman, released a statement on Amazon’s website expressing his and the company’s concerns about the impact the bills would have on the industry.

“We are still analyzing the bills, but from what we can tell so far, we believe they would have significant negative effects on the hundreds of thousands of American small- and medium-sized businesses that sell in our store, and tens of millions of consumers who buy products from Amazon… Removing the selection of these sellers from Amazon’s store would also create less price competition for products, and likely end up increasing prices for consumers,” said Huseman.