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A Voice of Reason: European Publishers Council Submits Concrete Proposals to the EC for Strict Enforcement of DMA’s App Store Rules

 |  July 3, 2024

By: Damien Geradin (The Platform Law Blog)


Yesterday, the European Publishers Council (EPC) published a press release announcing the submission of a comprehensive report to the European Commission (EC). The report (i) demonstrates how Apple and Google’s current implementation of app store provisions breaches the Digital Markets Act (DMA) and (ii) provides recommendations to ensure greater contestability and fairness in mobile ecosystems.

The app store-related provisions of the DMA are crucial for press publishers, as a significant number of people consume news online via iOS and Android apps distributed through the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. While press publishers are not the only content producers relying on these app stores, this press release—summarizing the report—offers what I believe to be the most advanced and well-considered approach to ensuring greater contestability and fairness in mobile ecosystems. It stands as a voice of reason amid the prevailing noise.

Instead of merely criticizing Apple and Google for their inadequate implementation of the DMA or urging the EC to take action (the EC is already engaged, albeit perhaps not comprehensively enough), this press release provides concrete solutions that balance the interests of various stakeholders within Apple and Google’s ecosystems. It does not address all issues, particularly those related to Article 6(4), but it tackles key matters such as steering (Article 5(4)) and FRAND (Article 6(12)). It also appropriately contextualizes the discussion, emphasizing that it is the responsibility of the designated app store gatekeepers (Apple and Google) to ensure their policies and fees comply with the DMA, not app developers or the EC.

Rather than paraphrasing the substantive part of this press release, I will reproduce it below and add comments highlighted in blue when necessary.