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Apple is the leader when it comes to European court action

by on17 June 2024

App store will be a test case

Apple, the fruity cargo cult, is likely to be the first to be caned under the EU’s shiny new digital laws to take on Big Tech titans.

The European Commission says that Apple has not allowed app developers to direct customers to deals outside the App Store without charging a fee.

This kerfuffle could be the debut scuffle under the Digital Markets Act, a set of rules meant to ensure fair play for the big online players and allow others to play in the EU's digital playground. While Apple’s rivals might be having a laugh at Jobs’ Mob’s predicament, they will be equally be worried that if Apple loses Europe could be coming for them next.

The commission has been targeting Apple, Alphabet, and Meta since March, when the DMA was approved.

Word on the street is that Apple is running possibly sorting its act out and changing course, which might make the regulators think twice before laying down the law.

The EU is also examining whether Alphabet is giving its own app store an unfair advantage and whether Meta has been too free and easy with personal data for ads.

If Apple is caught with its hand in the cookie jar breaking DMA rules, it could be slapped with daily fines that could amount to five per cent of its $1 billion+ daily global takings.

This all comes as watchdogs globally sniff around Big Tech, wondering if they're getting too big for their boots. In the US, they've already filed an antitrust case against Apple for allegedly muscling out rivals and pinching consumer choice.

Epic Games, which had a barney with Apple over the App Store back in 2020, is biting its nails waiting for a Californian judge to decide if Apple's been playing fast and loose with a US court order about its steering rules.

In January, Apple tried to sweet-talk Brussels by shaking up its iOS mobile software, App Store, and Safari browser in the EU. They dropped app selling fees from 30 per cent to 17 per cent and let users flirt with other app stores.

But Brussels is examining those fee cuts to see if they are compatible with the new digital playbook. Job’s Mob cooked up some new charges in Europe that have some developers hesitant, fearing they'll shell out more money.

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