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Apple Gets Six Months to Bring iPad Under EU Law

Apple logo on building

European regulators are giving Apple six months to bring its iPad up to code.

The European Commission said in a Monday (April 29) news release that it designated Apple as a “gatekeeper” with respect to its operating system for tablets under the Digital Markets Act (DMA). It gave the company the half-year deadline to bring the iPad under compliance with the law.

PYMNTS has contacted Apple for comment but has not yet gotten a reply.

Under the DMA, gatekeepers are companies that have a strong economic position, significant impact on the internal market and are active in multiple EU countries. Apple had already received the designation in September because of its system, iOS; its browser, Safari; and its App Store.

“On the same day, the commission opened a market investigation to assess whether Apple’s iPadOS, despite not meeting the quantitative thresholds laid down in the DMA, constitutes an important gateway for business users to reach end users and therefore should be designated as a gatekeeper,” the commission said in the release.

That investigation found that the iPad meets the gatekeeper qualifications for a few reasons.

First, its business user numbers surpass “the quantitative threshold elevenfold, while its end user numbers were close to the threshold and are predicted to rise in the near future,” the commission said in the release.

In addition, end users are “locked in” to the iPad operating system, the release said, adding “Apple leverages its large ecosystem to disincentivize end users from switching to other operating systems for tablets.”

Business users are locked into iPadOS due to its “large and commercially attractive user base,” and its importance for features such as gaming apps, the release added.

PYMNTS last month examined the DMA from a retailing and consumer point of view, arguing that the law “aims to enhance consumer choice, foster innovation and protect user privacy.”

The report included comments from Mark Beresford, head of the retailer payments practice for London’s Edgar Dunn & Company. He said the DMA opens the market to more retail payment methods and will foster their interoperability.

Some of the changes he said he anticipates include face-to-face contactless payments and transactions from a third-party banking or wallet app.