Apple's App Store, Safari, and iOS Officially Designated 'Gatekeepers' in EU

Apple's App Store, Safari browser, and iOS operating system have today formally been designated as "gatekeepers" in the European Union, an official classification that requires adherence to strict new regulations (via Bloomberg).

European Commisssion
The EU's Digital Markets Act (DMA) seeks to curtail the power of major tech companies. Designated "gatekeeper" platforms will now face prohibition against favoring their own services over those of rivals. These platforms will also be prevented from combining personal data across different services and will have to allow users the option to download apps from alternative platforms. In a statement, Apple told Bloomberg "We remain very concerned about the privacy and data security risks the DMA poses for our users."

While Apple's ‌App Store‌, Safari, and iOS have been officially classified as gatekeepers, iMessage currently remains exempt from the list. Apple has recently stated that the user base of its iMessage service in Europe may not be large enough to warrant its inclusion under the DMA's regulations. The European Commission is in the process of investigating the validity of this claim, alongside Microsoft's Bing and Edge.

Alongside Apple, the European Commission has also listed services from other technology firms including Alphabet's Google Search, Amazon's marketplace, and Bytedance's TikTok, bringing the total to 22 services that now fall under DMA's provisions.

To be classified as a "gatekeeper" under the DMA, a company must fulfill certain criteria, including having sales across the EU of at least €7.5 billion, or a market capitalization of €75 billion or above. The designation also requires platforms or services to have more than 45 million monthly active users and over 10,000 active business users annually within the EU.

Companies that do not adhere to the new regulations risk facing EU investigations, substantial fines, and the imposition of "behavioral or structural remedies." The fines can amount to 10 percent of a company's global turnover, with a 20 percent penalty for repeat violations.

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Top Rated Comments

Spaceboi Scaphandre Avatar
11 months ago

What is the problem they are trying to solve?
Can that be stated before they tell us the fix?
The problem is:

* App distribution on iOS/iPadOS locked to a single app store that Apple controls with no other way to get apps, which under the Digital Markets Act (DMA) marks them as a gatekeeper and they must rectify this by allowing alternatives to the Apple App Store on iOS, similarly to how they do on macOS
* WebKit being the only web engine allowed on iOS. (Chrome and FireFox on iOS are just UI skins, as they're still forced to use WebKit which defeats the entire point of using Chrome or FireFox, as people want Chromium and FireFox Quantum, not WebKit) Remember when Microsoft got in trouble for pulling that stunt back in the 90s with United States of America vs Microsoft?

So the solution for both is simple: Just allow alternatives like they do on macOS. That's it. That's all they gotta do. A simple problem with a simple solution that Apple does not want to do as it means their app store monopoly is a *little* bit smaller.

Screw the EU, they only go after American companies. Hey Apple, Google and MS please stop selling your products to the EU and let them have a China crap.
It's not just the EU. Japan also approved similar measures and they will be forcing Apple to allow alternative app distribution as well, and in Japan Apple has a landslide dominance over any other competitor there of almost 70%. Like it's not even close. You gonna tell Apple to stop selling their products there too when they have overwhelming market dominance?

Apple, Microsoft, and other companies need to stop catering to what Europe wants. They're just as bad as California when it comes to making unreasonable demands.
Why? This change benefits consumers as now iOS would have competition in app distribution, and competition breeds innovation. The only people this doesn't Apple. Curious. ?

I'm in the EU. How can I get / pay for a USA iCloud account. In a legitimate kind of way so it's not at risk of being cancelled.
You can just choose not to sideload you know. Just like on Android, sideloading is completely optional and can be turned on and off with a toggle in settings. You can stay with the Apple App Store and never touch any alternatives should you so choose to.

This is just a power grab by the elites. Nothing different from any other socialist system.
Yes adding alternatives to app distribution and other web engines on iOS and other proconsumer measures is a "power grab by the elites." I guess forcing Apple to switch to USB-C on the iPhone, a move millions have begged for, was also a power grab? :rolleyes:
Score: 76 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Ctrlos Avatar
11 months ago

This is just a power grab by the elites. Nothing different from any other socialist system.

They are upset that Apple makes a profit while they sit in their publicly paid for chairs, doing nothing but punishing anyone who is financially successful.
It’s interesting to see how Americans are triggered by these things on a conceptual level. It seems like 'West', 'free market' and 'capitalism' are often not distinct from each other in the eyes of the US general public?

I can only assume the people defending these companies are all stockholders or fanboys that treat companies the way fantasy sports fans treat their teams only sports fans understand it’s a game.
Score: 51 Votes (Like | Disagree)
-BigMac- Avatar
11 months ago

Imagine if we had a functioning United States government that would have made it clear to the EU that such measures would be met with harsh retaliation.

EU GDP in 2008 was 16.3 trillion. In 2022 it was 16.64 trillion. You’d think maybe someone over there could figure out things aren’t working.

Don’t worry, I’m sure more regulations will fix it.
Pretty offensive comment right there.
You are being derogatory to people in Europe, which I'm not even from.

Also "You’d think maybe someone over there could figure out things aren’t working."

About as figured out as the USA is with its spending?

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Score: 45 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Spaceboi Scaphandre Avatar
11 months ago

The EU just keeps falling further behind. GDP per person is trending to 50% that of the US

When was the last time a tech company of any substance came from there?
Well there's Hello Fresh the food delivery service which is a German company

There's also one of the biggest video game publishers in the world Ubisoft, which is a French company

A lot of prominent mobile game developers like Supercell and King are from Finland and Sweden

Mojang is know...the people who made Minecraft the biggest video game in the world

You know ShaZam? The music recognition software that Apple bought almost a decade ago? Guess what, they're from the UK (though the UK left the EU so I guess that doesn't count lol)

Spotify is a Swedish company

Arm, the chip design firm responsible for the architecture used in Apple Silicon in our Macs and iPhones, as well as every ARM chip on the planet? Yeah, that's a UK company

So can we stop this myth that "oh Europe has no tech company that can compete against American tech companies" when the bulk of our software and services we use on a daily basis are from European companies?
Score: 40 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Ctrlos Avatar
11 months ago

You can be as upset as you want, but the facts are clear.

I think if I was subject to the EU, I'd be a little annoyed that they were concerned about a phone browser rather than taking steps to address the stagnant, rapidly falling behind economies of the member states.
Even the guys who invented GDP say it’s a terrible way of measuring the success of a country because it doesn’t take into account quality of life.

America might have higher GDP but when all that money is just filtered into the hands of billionaires instead of being spent on the infrastructure a functioning society needs such as nationalised healthcare what’s the point?
Score: 38 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Ctrlos Avatar
11 months ago
The number of comments that will litter this post from people who seem to think that massive tech companies are anything but capitalist entities only out for themselves will be quite staggering.
Score: 35 Votes (Like | Disagree)