Apple breaks the law in the App Store, says the EU

By Imran Rahman-Jones, technology reporter

Getty Images An iPhone with the EU logo projectedfake images

European Union regulators have accused Apple of violating new laws designed to rein in big tech companies.

The European Commission, which regulates competition in the EU, said Apple’s App Store excludes rival marketplaces, the first time it has found a company violating the Digital Markets Act (DMA).

The company faces a possible fine of up to 10% of its global revenue if it does not comply with the rules.

Apple said it is “confident that our plan complies with the law.”

The tech giant has had the opportunity to review the preliminary results of the investigation and can avoid a monstrous fine if it presents a proposal that is satisfactory to the EU.

The European Commission says developers should be able to freely inform customers when cheaper app stores are available other than the one run by Apple.

The firm charges developers an average commission of 30% in its App Store.

He was previously told that allow alternatives in the EU in March.

“We have reason to believe that App Store rules that do not allow app developers to communicate freely with their own users violate the WFD,” said EU Commissioner Thierry Breton.

The Commission also alleges that Apple’s fees “go beyond what is strictly necessary.”

In response, Apple said it has made changes in recent months to ensure compliance with the DMA.

“We estimate that more than 99% of developers would pay the same or less in fees to Apple under the new commercial terms we created,” he said in a statement.

“All developers doing business in the EU on the App Store have the opportunity to use the capabilities we have introduced, including the ability to direct app users to the web to complete purchases at a very competitive price.”

Another of Apple’s main arguments is that users benefit from strong security measures by staying in the official App Store.

In response, the Commission says it will be happy to discuss security issues.

New terms

On the other hand, the European Commission has opened another investigation into Apple in relation to the new contractual conditions for developers.

This focuses on three main areas:

  • A €0.50 (£0.42) fee that Apple charges developers for each app downloaded outside of the Apple App Store.
  • The number of steps Apple implements for users who want to download apps from alternative stores
  • Whether Apple’s eligibility criteria for alternative app store developers violate the DMA

Apple says it changed its eligibility criteria in March to make it easier for developers to create app stores.

It also says it eliminated the 0.50 euro fee for apps that don’t make money, such as those designed by students. In May.

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