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Apple Responds to Criticism Over EU’s Digital Markets Act Compliance

 |  March 18, 2024

In response to mounting scrutiny, Apple has defended its adherence to the European Union’s Digital Markets Act (DMA), asserting that it has taken significant steps to open up its closed ecosystem as mandated by the legislation.

The DMA, which came into effect on March 7, imposes a set of obligations and restrictions on tech giants including Apple, Google, Amazon, ByteDance (owner of TikTok), Meta Platforms, and Microsoft. According to Reuters, the six companies were required to comply with the DMA’s provisions by the specified date.

Apple’s compliance efforts have come under the spotlight, particularly concerning its closed ecosystem and the dominance of its App Store. However, the tech giant has recently made several announcements signaling its commitment to meeting DMA requirements.

Among the notable changes, Apple has announced initiatives such as allowing app developers to distribute iPhone apps directly to consumers, bypassing the App Store, and permitting developers to distribute apps to users within the European Union outside of the App Store.

Addressing concerns during a day-long hearing organized by the European Commission, Apple emphasized its efforts to redesign its systems to align with the DMA. Kyle Andeer, Apple’s lawyer, underscored the company’s focus on legal compliance while maintaining consistency with its values and user-centric approach.

Related: Apple to Adjust App Store Policies to Comply with EU Digital Markets Act

“We were guided first and foremost by ensuring that we’ve complied with the law. And then second, that we did it in a way that was consistent with our values and consistent with the language that we’ve developed with our users over a very long period of time. And we think we’ve accomplished that,” Andeer stated during the hearing.

He further highlighted Apple’s commitment to prioritizing user experience, acknowledging the importance of tracking the impact of these changes on customers who have relied on the iPhone ecosystem for over a decade.

While Apple’s response aims to assuage concerns surrounding its compliance with the DMA, the company continues to face scrutiny from regulators and competitors regarding the extent of its efforts to foster a more open digital environment.

As the debate over tech regulation intensifies, Apple’s assertions regarding DMA compliance are likely to be closely monitored by stakeholders, including policymakers, developers, and consumers, as they navigate the evolving landscape of digital markets in the European Union and beyond.

Source: Reuters