Tim Cook Meets EU Antitrust Chief Ahead of iPhone App Sideloading Deadline

Apple CEO Tim Cook yesterday met the European Union's antitrust chief, Margrethe Vestager, at Apple Park amid a series of disputes between the organizations.

margrethe vestager and tim cook
The meeting focused on European competition policy and digital regulation. On X (formerly Twitter), Vestager explained that she stressed Apple's impending obligation to allow users to install third-party app stores and sideload apps under the Digital Markets Act (DMA). They also spoke about ongoing investigations involving Apple, such as a complaint raised by Spotify against Apple Music, but Vestager declined to provide more specific detail of the discussion.

Apple is facing a range of challenges in the EU, such as a $14 billion tax dispute and a potential deal to open up the iPhone's NFC technology to payment services from rival companies. Most strikingly, new EU rules such as the DMA designate major tech companies as "gatekeepers" and compel them to open up their various services and platforms to other companies and developers. The DMA is expected to force Apple to make significant changes to the way the App Store, FaceTime, and Siri work in Europe. For example, Apple will be obliged to give developers the ability to promote their offers outside the ‌‌‌‌App Store‌‌‌‌ and use third-party payment systems.

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Top Rated Comments

TJ82 Avatar
22 weeks ago
Matching haircuts. Good start!
Score: 36 Votes (Like | Disagree)
oofio2461 Avatar
22 weeks ago
We have a right to do anything with the hardware WE buy. Apple is too over-controlling over the things we can and cant do.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Spanky Deluxe Avatar
22 weeks ago
I'm unlikely to use side loading on my iPhone but the feature should be there. Call it 'installing' or something new aged like that. The place I *really* want this though is on the iPad.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ashdelacroix Avatar
22 weeks ago

We have a right to do anything with the hardware WE buy. Apple is too over-controlling over the things we can and cant do.
Whilst I agree with this to a large extent, the problem here is that the EU isn't then merely "on the side of the consumer": it is the victim of billions of euros' worth of lobbying from Google, Microsoft and many others, to help bring down Apple a peg or two.

What we are seeing is not some pro-consumer EU but an EU at the bidding of corporations that want to "open up" Apple devices: open them up to third-party services such that Messages would be forced to integrate with Facebook's WhatsApp platform and Google's RCP Android services. You'll notice this would be to the prime benefit of Facebook and Google rather than to some one-man band with a little messaging service.

Even if Messages is not singled out in this way (I'm hearing conflicting information on whether Apple is a "gatekeeper" for this purpose), then it's still important to see how this is not merely a consumer protection but a boon to other billion-dollar corporations who seek to bring down Apple, its specific culture and its secure, walled garden (a garden I suspect 95% of Apple consumers rather like).
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
citysnaps Avatar
22 weeks ago

I'm unlikely to use side loading on my iPhone but the feature should be there.
I'm OK with that as long as the iPhone owner bears responsibility for any adverse consequences that comes to them personally, or their iPhone, as a result.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Sorinut Avatar
22 weeks ago

jail cook if he refuses to allow sideloading worldwide.
Under what law, and explain exactly what laws apply worldwide?

Think before you post ridiculous stuff.


while I agree, if only this were true.
You never own software, it’s always a license.
Even windows, Microsoft can technically revoke your access on your PC at any time if they want to.
Then give us access to the bare hardware, without an OS. We can't get that, either, even at the end of a products lifespan/updates.

Microsoft can revoke your access to Windows, not to the computer itself. I can blow away Windows anytime I want and install another licensed copy, Linux, xBSD, whatever.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)