The European Union is not making friends with Cupertino. The body that regulates part of the policy on the old continent has indeed adopted two texts strongly criticized by Apple and GAFAM. The DSA and the DMA are unanimously repelled by the giants of the web who consider them “contrary to the foundations of the Internet” neither more nor less.
While the European Union has just forced Apple’s hand, forcing it to switch to a USB-C port for the next iPhones, the Strasbourg parliament did not want to stop there, and now it has just validated two new texts of law which go against the practices of the Apple.
An App Store open to competition
The biggest change for Apple regarding these new laws should be in the App Store. As in South Korea, Europe wants Apple (in the same way) as Google to open its services to competition. Developers will therefore no longer be obliged to go through Apple’s payment services to sell their application, which allows them to take off a 30% commission taken by Apple on each of the transactions carried out.
If this law has already made its appearance in South Korea, Europe on its side goes further and even obliges Apple to open its services even larger. In addition to letting developers choose their solution in the App Store, the text of the law provides that Apple gives users the choice of using the App Store, or a third-party solution.
There could therefore exist other App Stores, as at the very beginning of the history of the application store. On the European side, this news is taken with a smile: “thehe digital services law helps protect the rights of users online, while digital markets law helps create fair and open online markets” assures Margrethe Vestager vice-president at the European Commission in charge of digital.
Apple may not have a choice
But on the other side of the Atlantic, the idea appeals much less. While the text was validated at its first reading by parliament, it is now in the hands of the Council of the European Union. This is the last step before the publication and implementation of the text of the law, scheduled for the fall if all goes as agreed.
Barring an unlikely turnaround, Apple should therefore let third-party solutions arrive on its iPhones by the end of the year. Unless Apple decides not to abide by these new rules, which could lead to Europe sanctioning Apple with a record fine.
The text of the law provides that “ fines of up to 10% of its total worldwide annual turnover, or 20% in the event of repeated infringements and periodic penalty payments of up to 5% of its total daily worldwide turnover, explains the European Commission which is determined to make Apple give in.