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24 Jun 2024

Thomas Ricker, The Verge

Preliminary ruling by EU points to Apple violating market fairness rules

"Apple is first company charged with violating EU’s DMA rules" 24 June 2024

Apple’s App Store “steering” policies violate the EU’s Digital Markets Act meant to encourage competition, said regulators in their preliminary ruling Monday. The European Commission has also opened a new investigation into Apple’s support for alternative iOS marketplaces in Europe, including the core technology fee it charges developers...

...Under the DMA, Apple and other so-called gatekeepers must allow app developers to steer consumers to offers outside their app stores free of charge. Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, ByteDance, Meta, and Microsoft are the six gatekeepers who had to be fully compliant with rules as of March 2024...

...Apple is the first to be charged under the DMA rules after the EU’s competition authority opened several investigations in March. (Meta and Google are also being scrutinized for noncompliance.) Apple has time to respond to the European Commission’s preliminary assessment ahead of its final ruling before March 2025. Apple could be fined up to 10 percent of its annual global revenue for infringement, or $38 billion based on last year’s numbers. That increases to 20 percent for repeat infringements...

...“Throughout the past several months, Apple has made a number of changes to comply with the DMA in response to feedback from developers and the European Commission,” said Apple spokesperson Peter Ajemian in a statement sent to The Verge. “All developers doing business in the EU on the App Store have the opportunity to utilize the capabilities that we have introduced, including the ability to direct app users to the web to complete purchases at a very competitive rate. As we have done routinely, we will continue to listen and engage with the European Commission.”..