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Apple faces the European storm: new accusations that could be very expensive

© Unsplash/Brett Jordan

In March, the European Commission fined Apple €1.8 billion for its “abusive” App Store rules. And apparently, the company could be fined again for failing to comply with the Digital Markets Act. As a reminder, this is a new EU law that regulates digital giants, which are considered gatekeepers. In order to comply with this law, Apple has already made many changes to its iOS platform, such as opening it up to app stores that compete with the App Store.

Apple’s changes are not enough

However, despite the changes Apple has implemented in the EU to comply with this law, the European Commission has still identified potentially illegal practices. Previously, the Commission announced the opening of an investigation against the Alphabet, Apple and Meta groups. As far as Apple is concerned, Brussels is looking into possible limitations on the ability of developers to direct app users to offers outside the App Store. The Commission is also investigating Apple's compliance with rules requiring it to give users more choice, as well as the firm's new pricing structure which affects the distribution of apps outside the App Store.

And according to an article in the Financial Times, the next step should be the formulation of the European Commission's accusations against Apple. Citing sources close to the matter, the British newspaper indicates that Brussels has concluded that Apple is not respecting its obligation to authorize, free of charge, developers to direct application users towards offers which are outside the scope of the App Store.The announcement could be made in the coming weeks. However, Apple would still have the possibility, at this stage, to correct the bad practices with which it will be accused. In any case, the fines (after a long procedure) can be very heavy for companies sanctioned for non-compliance with the Digital Markets Act. The legislation provides that these fines can go up to 10% of global turnover. For Apple, the maximum fine would almost reach $40 billion.

Other tech giants in the sights

While awaiting an official announcement from the European Commission, caution is required. But in any case, European measures against Apple should influence the way other major tech players design their products and their business models. Otherwise, as mentioned above, the EU is also investigating Alphabet and Meta. And according to the Financial Times, the EU could also announce its accusations against these two companies.

The European Commission is still investigating how Meta harvests consent from Facebook and Instagram users to display targeted ads. The group offers a paid version of these platforms and offers Internet users the choice between paying for this subscription or seeing targeted advertisements using personal data.

The EU becomes a global example

In any case, by adopting the Digital Markets Act, the European Union has, once again, demonstrated that it is a pioneer in terms of regulation tech companies. Recently, Japan adopted a law called “Act on Promotion of Competition for Specified Smartphone Software”, some of the rules of which are very close to those of the Digital Markets Act.

  • In March, EU investigations were opened against Alphabet, Apple and Meta under the Digital Markets Act
  • And according to the Financial Times, the Commission is now preparing to announce its accusations against Apple
  • Brussels could point to obstacles against developers who direct their users towards offers that go beyond the App Store system

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Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116