EU Accuses Apple of Blocking Users from Cheaper App Store Alternatives

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EU is accusing Apple, and at this point, I’m like, tell me something new. But this one seems to be important. Apple is under fire from the European Union (EU) for potentially violating the new Digital Markets Act (DMA). The EU’s competition chief, Margrethe Vestager, has raised serious concerns that Apple might be preventing businesses from informing users about cheaper options outside the App Store.

[Apple] is very important because a lot of good business happens through the App Store, happens through payment mechanisms, so of course, even though you know I can say this is not what was expected of such a company, of course, we will enforce exactly with the same top priority as with any other business.

This comes after the European Commission launched an investigation into Apple in March 2024 to enforce the DMA, which came into effect this year.

What’s the DMA? The DMA targets Big Tech companies and wants to level the playing field in the digital market. Companies designated as “gatekeepers” under the DMA, including Apple, Microsoft, Google, and others, must comply with certain rules. The results of the DMA are promising. Apple revealed that options to allow users to choose the default browser and search engines are coming to iPad later this year.

According to news reports, the EU is preparing preliminary charges against Apple based on the investigation. If found guilty of breaching DMA regulations, Apple could face fines amounting to 10% of its global annual revenue. This comes after Apple recently dodged a fine of $40 billion, well most of it, even though the final verdict is yet to come.

Vestager, nearing the end of her decade-long tenure as the EU’s competition chief, has actively pursued antitrust investigations against tech giants like Google’s parent company Alphabet.

In case you’re unaware, less than 0.1% of developers have signed up for the new payment system.

Apple has yet to respond to the EU’s concerns. The investigation’s conclusions are expected to be revealed soon.

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