EU says Apple breaks law with App Store

by Imran Rahman Jones, Technology reporter

Getty Images An iPhone with the EU logo on itGetty Images

European Union regulators have accused Apple of violating new laws designed to rein in big tech companies.

The European Union’s competition regulator said Apple’s App Store was crowding out rival marketplaces, saying it was the first time it had found a company in breach of the Digital Markets Act (DMA).

The company could be fined up to 10% of its global revenue if it doesn’t comply with the rules.

Apple said it was “confident that our plans comply with the law.”

The tech giant has been given the opportunity to review the preliminary findings of the investigation and could avoid huge fines if it submits a proposal that the EU finds satisfactory.

The European Commission has said developers should be free to tell customers if there are cheaper app stores other than the one run by Apple.

The company charges developers an average 30% commission on the App Store.

Previously, Allowing Alternatives In March in the EU.

“We have reason to believe that App Store rules that do not allow app developers to communicate freely with their users violate the DMA,” said EU Commissioner Thierry Breton.

The Commission also claims that Apple’s fees “exceed strictly necessary.”

In response, Apple said it had made changes over the past few months to comply with the DMA.

“We estimate that under the new terms we’ve created, more than 99 percent of developers will pay Apple the same or lower fees,” the company said in a statement.

“All developers who do business through the App Store in the EU will have the opportunity to take advantage of the features we’ve introduced, including the ability to drive app users to the web and complete their purchases at very competitive prices.”

Apple’s other main argument is that users benefit from stronger security measures by using the official App Store.

In response, the European Commission has said it is happy to discuss security issues.

New Terminology

Separately, the European Commission has launched a new investigation into Apple over its new contract terms for developers.

It focuses on three main areas:

  • The €0.50 (£0.42) fee that Apple charges developers for each app downloaded outside the App Store
  • The number of steps Apple takes for users who want to download apps from alternative stores
  • Whether Apple’s eligibility criteria for alternative app store developers violate the DMA

Apple announces changes to eligibility criteria March This is to make it easier for developers to set up their app stores.

The company also said it has scrapped the €0.50 fee for non-profit apps, such as those designed by students. In May.

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