EU probes Apple's app store for anti-competitive practices

The EU body has set a deadline of March 2025 to make a final decision on Apple's compliance

Representational image of the Apple logo (photo: IANS)
Representational image of the Apple logo (photo: IANS)

NH Digital

The European Commission on Monday announced that it has launched an investigation into Apple's app store, scrutinising its practices under the EU's Digital Markets Act (DMA). The Act aims to prevent dominant digital "gatekeepers" from abusing their positions as intermediaries between businesses and customers, as per DW.

Allegations and findings

The investigation focuses on Apple's practice of charging fees to alternative app stores and developers each time an iPhone user installs their software. Preliminary findings suggest that Apple has violated the EU's DMA by preventing app developers from steering consumers to alternative channels for offers and content.

The commission is also examining the criteria Apple imposes on developers to provide iPhone apps via the web instead of through its app store.

Apple's response

As per a France 24 report, Apple on Monday said it has adopted "a number of changes" to comply with the rules and would "continue to listen and engage with the European Commission".

"We are confident our plan complies with the law," the company said, as per a DW report.

Apple now has access to the commission's investigation file and can choose to reply to the findings. The EU body has set a deadline of March 2025 to make a final decision on Apple's compliance.

If the commission confirms its preliminary view, Apple could face significant fines — up to 10 per cent of its global turnover, rising to 20 per cent for repeat offences.

The bigger picture

The Apple app store was in a tug of war with the EU even before the DMA entered into force this year. But the commission's current move represents the first formal accusation under the new rules, marking a significant step in its ongoing battle with the US tech giant.

The DMA requires companies like Apple to offer more choices to users like informing them about alternative purchasing options and enabling easier installation of third-party apps.

Apple's future

The outcome of this investigation could have significant ramifications for Apple and other tech companies operating in the EU. In addition to potential fines, the EU retains the right to break up companies as a last resort.

But Apple isn't the only one with a target on its back, Alphabet, Amazon, Meta, Microsoft and TikTok are also under EU's radar.

Follow us on: Facebook, Twitter, Google News, Instagram 

Join our official telegram channel (@nationalherald) and stay updated with the latest headlines