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Apple is one of the companies that recently confirmed its gatekeeper status to the EU. The confirmation is a response to the European Union’s Digital Markets Act (DMA), which aims to help small companies and startups in competing with dominant tech businesses by promoting better competition.
Under the DMA, the status will apply to companies with $82 billion market capitalization. As per the EU, the law specifically applies to those offering “ore platform service to more than 45 million monthly active end users established or located in the EU and to more than 10,000 yearly active business users established in the EU.” According to Reuters, aside from Apple, other companies also confirmed their status, including Amazon, Google, Meta, and Microsoft. Other companies like ByteDance, Samsung, and Booking.com also expressed the possibility of meeting the criteria, with the former trying to contest this.
The European law will push the digital giants to offer their customers more choices in products and services instead of favoring the ones under their brands. This will be a huge challenge for Apple, which is known to have a very restrictive ecosystem in terms of its app downloads. With this, the company could be pushed to allow app sideloading or the download of applications from third-party platforms. The law could also allow third-party app developers to use other payment platforms other than what Apple is offering.
One of Apple’s arguments for this policy is to protect users from fake apps possibly laced with malware. Nonetheless, according to Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering, the company was already “working with the EU” regarding safety compliance in app sideloading. Yet, it is hard to say that Apple will easily embrace the DMA. After all, the law translates to significant changes in the company’s current ecosystem policies, which could affect its business. With this, expect Apple won’t surrender to the EU’s requirements without any resistance or pushing new arguments in the future, especially before the March 5 deadline of the DMA for companies to comply.