EU accuses Apple of breaching new competition laws 

EU regulators have accused Apple of violating new laws aimed at stopping big tech companies from becoming too powerful. 

The European Commission, which oversees competition in the EU, stated that Apple’s App Store hinders rival marketplaces, marking the first violation under the Digital Markets Act (DMA). 

The Commission argues that developers should be able to inform customers about cheaper alternatives to Apple’s App Store. Currently, Apple charges developers a 30% commission on app sales. The Commission also claims that Apple’s fees are excessively high. 

Previously, in March, Apple was instructed to allow alternatives in the EU. Apple could face a fine of up to 10% of its global revenue if it doesn’t comply with the regulations.

EU Commissioner Thierry Breton commented, “We have grounds to believe that the App Store rules preventing developers from freely communicating with their users breach the DMA.”

Apple has the chance to review the preliminary findings and can avoid a hefty fine by submitting an acceptable proposal to the EU. 

The Commission is open to discussing security concerns. In a separate move, it has launched another investigation into Apple’s new contractual terms for developers, focusing on three areas:

  1. A €0.50 (£0.42) fee charged to developers for each app downloaded outside of Apple’s App Store
  2. The number of steps required for users to download apps from alternative stores
  3. Whether Apple’s eligibility criteria for alternative app store developers violate the DMA

Apple maintains that its plan complies with the law and has made it easier for developers to set up alternative app stores by changing eligibility criteria in March and removing the €0.50 fee for non-revenue-generating apps, such as those created by students, in May.

In its response, the company also stated it has recently made changes to comply with the DMA. “We estimate that over 99% of developers will pay the same or less in fees under the new terms we’ve implemented,” the company said. 

Apple also highlighted that all developers in the EU can now direct users to the web for purchases at competitive rates. Furthermore, Apple argues that its App Store provides strong security benefits for users.

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