The EU is investigating Apple’s choices for the App Store

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The EU is investigating Apple's choices for the App Store

The fact that Apple charges developers an extra fee when their apps are downloaded more than 1 million times in a year is not welcomed by everyone. In fact, this new compensation system seems to be causing bad feelings among just about everyone except Apple itself. Especially among developers, who complain a lot to the EU. Reason for the EU to investigate Apple’s choices.

Digital Markets Act

These new App Store rules didn’t come out of nowhere. They even come from something the EU came up with: the Digital Markets Act. This legislation has been vigorously enforced since this month and that is why you have been hearing a lot about changes in app stores lately. Apple especially has to get to work, because it has to allow payment systems and even entire app stores to its own app store. Something that Google must also do, but the big difference is that Apple must also allow sideloading: downloading apps outside the App Store.

Apple has introduced a new reward for itself, namely an extra fee that app makers have to pay when they have achieved more than 1 million downloads per year. And that fee is not bad: 50 cents for every download that exceeds 1 million. The EU has expressed its cautious assessment of these practices. Competition officer at the EU, Margrethe Vestager, says no Reuters: “There are things we are very interested in, such as whether Apple’s new fee structure does not de facto make it attractive in any way to take advantage of the benefits of the DMA. We’re going to investigate things like that.”

Apple and the EU

The ultimate question is to what extent the EU can take legal action on this. Of course, Apple is not crazy: it has probably found an army of the best lawyers to fully investigate the DMA and take advantage of all the loopholes in the law. The EU may not like the fact that Apple is therefore not attractive when it comes to the DMA, but if it basically complies with all legislation, it probably cannot do much about it. That would be a shame, because the DMA is there to limit the power of large tech companies.

In any case, the EU is busy with it: it is also further investigating whether Meta is adhering to it. That is on another level, namely that of advertisements, age and freedom of choice, but above all that the subscription prices for people who do not want to see advertisements (and especially do not want to be tracked) are very high. Meta has said it wants to halve subscription prices, but the question is whether that is enough for the EU.

Tech companies tackled

It was already expected that the Digital Markets Act would cause a major stir in the tech world, but the fact that not all tech companies seem to be equally cautious about it has started many interesting discussions. And now the main question is to what extent the EU may have an opinion about this, or whether the laws and regulations are actually followed.

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