Is Apple violating the Digital Markets Act? We know the position of the European Commission

Luc Williams

Digital Services Act (DMA) regulates the activities of large online platforms in the EU. The aim of this regulation is to limit the dominant role of the largest digital companies, called “access guards”, and ensuring greater competitiveness in the digital market. This includes: o enterprises whose annual turnover in the EU is over EUR 7.5 billion and the number of users exceeds 45 million per month. So far, the EC has recognized them as “access gatekeepers”. seven companies: : Apple, Alphabet, Amazon,, ByteDance, Meta and Microsoft. Apple is the first “access gatekeeper” accused by the European Commission of violating DMA regulations.

A fine of up to 10 percent. total global turnover of the “access gatekeeper”

The reason is the rules under which the App Store of the American iPhone manufacturer operates. In the EC’s opinion, they prevent application providers from redirecting consumers to competitive offers. Under the DMA, developers who distribute their apps through the Apple Store should be able to inform their customers, free of charge, about alternative, cheaper purchasing options, direct them to those offers, and enable them to make purchases. In the preliminary assessment, the EC concluded that the American company did not offer such an opportunity.

“Redirection is key to ensuring that app developers are independent of service providers’ app stores and that consumers are aware of the existence of better offers,” said Margrethe Vestager, EC Vice-President for Competitiveness, quoted in the release.

Apple may respond to the allegations. However, if the EC confirms in the next step that the company does not operate in accordance with the DMA regulations, it will be able to issue a decision on non-compliance. Such a decision may be made within a year from the initiation of the proceedings – in the case of the App Store, the procedure was launched on March 25.

Violation of DMA regulations may result in a fine of up to 10%. the total global turnover of the “access gatekeeper”. In the case of repeated violations, the penalty may reach up to 20%. On Monday, the EC also initiated new proceedings against Apple under the DMA. It will examine, among other things, whether the American company complies with EU rules by imposing a fee on application providers for each time they are downloaded from the App Store.

From Brussels Magdalena Cedro


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