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EU regulators charge Apple with breaching antitrust rules

Written by Wed 26 Jun 2024

The European Commission have alleged that tech giant Apple have broken antitrust rules, following an investigation in March.

This charge is the first of its kind from the EU’s antitrust and technology regulator under the comprehensive Digital Markets Act (DMA) and may prove extremely costly for Apple.

If the European Commission find that Apple have violated the DMA, they have the power to impose a fine of up to 10% of the company’s global annual revenue.

According to the European Commission, Apple have prevented ‘app developers from freely steering consumers to alternative channels for offers and content’, in the App Store. However, if Apple update the business terms that allegedly breach the DMA, the fine could be avoided.

Executive Vice-President in charge of competition policy at the European Commission, Margrethe Vestager, said ‘today is a very important day for the effective enforcement of the DMA’. Vestager added the European Commission has sent preliminary findings to Apple.

“Our preliminary position is that Apple does not fully allow steering. Steering is key to ensure that app developers are less dependent on gatekeepers’ app stores and for consumers to be aware of better offers,” said Vestager.

A second investigation is also being opened by the European Commission into Apple in relation to contractual terms for third-party developers and whether or not these are necessary and proportionate.

The core technology fee was launched by Apple in the EU in March this year and applies to all large developers, even if Apple’s payment services are not used. The European Commission now has until March 2025 to offer a final decision on Apple’s compliance with the DMA.

According to Apple, the company is confident that its current policies are in line with DMA requirements. The tech firm also say they have already made changes to comply with the DMA in recent months, after working with the European Commission.

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Written by Wed 26 Jun 2024

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