EU Warns Apple to Revamp App Store or Face Severe Penalties
On January 26th, according to Agence France-Presse, Thierry Breton, the European Commissioner for the Internal Market, made a statement regarding Apple’s declaration today. He expressed that the “Digital Markets Act” would open the doors to internet competition, making digital markets more open and transparent. He emphasized that a transformation is underway.
He also revealed that starting from March 7th, following the law’s implementation, the European Commission will evaluate tech companies’ proposals “based on feedback from third parties.” The “Digital Markets Act” aims to provide consumers with more choices and offer small innovative tech companies more opportunities.
Breton directly addressed Apple, warning them that “if the proposed (App Store) solutions are not satisfactory and adjustments are not made effectively, we will not hesitate to impose severe penalties.”
Apple’s “major changes” to the App Store will take place in March when the comprehensive “Digital Markets Act” of the EU comes into effect. This move will weaken the App Store’s dominant position, which has been a mainstay for the iPhone since 2008.
Phil Schiller, the head of Apple App Store, stated, “The changes we announced today comply with the requirements of the EU’s ‘Digital Markets Act’ while also helping to protect EU users from the inevitable increase in privacy and security threats brought about by this regulation.”
Furthermore, a senior EU official disclosed that Apple had previously complained about the EU regulation that mandates the use of USB-C charging cables, but eventually, they complied with the regulation. “This is similar to the situation with the charging cables. They may put up a drama, but in the end, they will comply,” the official said on the condition of anonymity.
The official added, “If they are concerned about security issues, it means they haven’t done their job properly, and the Commission can hold them accountable because compromising product and service functionalities (such as security) does not comply with the obligations of the ‘Digital Markets Act’.”
As reported earlier today by IT Home, Apple has emphasized that the new regulations are limited to the European market. However, regulatory authorities worldwide may follow the EU’s lead and enforce similar measures. For instance, the United States has already taken a strong stance and plans to conduct an antitrust investigation into Apple’s App Store.