EU Labels iPadOS as a Gatekeeper and Orders to Comply With DMA Within Six Months

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The European Commission has just ended its eight-month investigation into Apple’s iPadOS and designated it as a “Gatekeeper” service under the Digital Markets Act (DMA). 

But what’s DMA? The DMA, which came into effect in March this year, has rules for companies with major market power. As a Gatekeeper service, iPadOS will need to comply with regulations that are made to give users in the EU more control over their devices.

These regulations may include:

  • Allowing users to download apps from sources outside the official App Store.
  • Permitting users to remove pre-installed Apple apps that are not essential for core functionality.
  • Letting users to choose their default browser and other services freely.

The Commission’s investigation showed that, while iPadOS did not meet the exact user base thresholds for mandatory Gatekeeper designation, it still functions as an important gateway for businesses to reach consumers. The Commission expects iPad user numbers to continue rising in the EU.

Apple faced similar DMA regulations for its iOS, App Store, and Safari browser in September 2023. These changes haven’t yet been applied to iPadOS. But do these changes work? Here are the growth numbers shown by Opera. Hint, the growth is almost exponential. 

If Apple fails to bring iPadOS into compliance with the DMA within the next six months, the company could face fines of up to 10 percent of its global revenue. Repeated offenses could lead to fines of up to 20 percent, similar to what tech giants at Apple can face for their anti-competitive practices in Japan. 

The Commission concluded that iPadOS constitutes an important gateway for business users to reach end users, and that Apple enjoys an entrenched and durable position with respect to iPadOS. Apple now has six months to ensure full compliance with the DMA obligations as applied to iPadOS. 

says a statement published by the Commission on Monday.

The ruling comes just ahead of Apple’s upcoming event on May 7th, where new iPad models are expected to be announced.

More here.

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