Apple’s Misery In The EU: Company Becomes First To Be Charged For Violating DMA

Tech giant Apple is one of the first of many to acclaim several achievements but this next piece of news isn’t something the company will be proud of.

The Cupertino firm has been called out by regulators in the EU for being the first to violate the Digital Markets Act in the region. The DMA has had several tech giants scrambling to try and make sure their operations were in line with the law.

The latest on this front has to do with Apple stopping developers from freely steering consumers to other alternative channels with various other offers and content.

The entire investigation started in March and focused on the developer’s ability to combine alternative methods for payment across both of these stores. Moreover, the EU also wished to examine whether or not the fees from Apple for App Stores belonging to third parties violated the law and if its ability to sideload was actually acceptable.

It turned out that the answer to this could be a yes as investigators have been pointing out that Apple is not keen on giving others a chance and wishes to be the head of the competitive race by adding restrictions.

Steering is said to be a key function that forces app developers to be less dependent on app stores owned by gatekeepers so that consumers might be more aware of what offers are at stake.

This might be the very first time that the EU took action against a leading tech firm for DMA.

The EU has already taken action with Apple’s operations. For starters, app developers were said to have been barred from adding pricing details across app stores and channels owned by third parties. Secondly, it enables developers to link out of platforms to external browsers but does end up regulating what the developer is allowed to do when linking out. Thirdly, it charges developers for acquiring new clients via this link-out endeavor.

The company is going to be given a chance to argue with all of the findings brought up against it by the EU before the levying of penalties. In case there is an infringement, the Commission would impose fines that go as far as 10% of the whole gatekeepers’ turnover around the globe. And such fines might be up to 20% in those cases when infringements keep getting repeated.

In other news, we know that the European Commission is even rolling out new proceedings about the support of Apple’s alternative iOS app stores. The case focuses on a new Core Tech Fee which is a multi-step process needed for users to download the marketplaces and what eligibility the company has brought forward for developers in this respect.

They also vow to open up proceedings against the tech giant with core tech fees and different rules for enabling third-party stores as mentioned above. This is a major point worth mentioning because a lot of people and developers are looking forward to welcoming alternative options that go above and beyond the usual App Store.

Hence, rumors about Apple undermining such efforts are not going to be taken too well, sources mentioned.

We even saw the iPhone maker recently blame various regulatory uncertainties linked to the DMA as the reason for the delay in launching its iOS lineup across the EU states which many saw as shocking news. But Apple says that the blame lies on all the interoperability restrictions that it feels might undermine both the security and privacy of users.

Image: DIW-Aigen

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