EU says Apple has ‘very serious’ issues for not complying with DMA

Apple this year announced a series of changes when it comes to the App Store in the EU, as the Digital Markets Act (DMA) antitrust legislation came into force in March. However, the European Commission doesn’t seem satisfied with the changes Apple has made. For the EU, Apple has some “very serious” issues with not being fully compliant with the new legislation.

EU considers that changes made by Apple to comply with the DMA are not enough

In an interview with CNBC, the European Commission’s competition chief Margrethe Vestager said that Apple’s proposed changes were “not what was expected of such a company.” Vestager also added that the EU will “enforce” the law with “top priority” amid reports of the bloc fining Apple for failing to comply with the DMA.

“We have a number of Apple issues; I find them very serious. I was very surprised that we would have such suspicions of Apple being non-compliant,” Vestager told CNBC. Although further details remain unclear, Vestager also stated that the conclusions will be revealed “hopefully soon.”

Apple introduced changes to the App Store in the EU in March with iOS 17.4. Among the changes, the company reduced the commission that developers have to pay Apple and introduced App Marketplaces – a new way of distributing iOS apps outside the App Store. In the months that followed, the company further relaxed its rules, this time allowing the distribution of apps through the web and changing the structure of Core Fee Technology (CFT).

Even so, the European Union believes that Apple “is not complying with obligations to allow app developers to ‘steer’ users to offers outside of the App Store without imposing fees on them.” The fine could reach 5% of Apple’s average daily turnover, which is around $1 billion. However, Apple would still have some more time to make further changes and avoid the fine.

Apple says it’s “confident” that the new rules comply with the DMA. On a related note, the company is about to face similar challenges in Japan, as the Japanese parliament has also passed a new antitrust law targeting big tech companies.

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Filipe Esposito