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Apple to face charges under EU digital markets act – FT

Published 2024/06/14, 21:50
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Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is set to face charges from the European Commission under the Digital Markets Act over allegedly hindering competition on its mobile app store, according to a report by the Financial Times. The report cited three persons familiar with the investigation who revealed that the EU regulators have found that Apple has failed to comply with requirements to permit developers to direct users to offers outside the App Store without charging them fees.

While the sources told the FT that so far the regulators have only made preliminary findings, if the charges were to be made, this would be the first time a Big Tech company would have to face proceedings under the DMA, which aims to compel large global tech firms to open their businesses to competition in the EU.

An announcement regarding the charges is forthcoming over the next few weeks, revealed the sources, though Apple might take actions to address the regulator’s findings, which could potentially lead them to reconsider the decision.

Apple would face daily penalties for non-compliance of up to 5% its average daily worldwide turnover if it were found to be violating the DMA. That would be around $1 billion.

This development comes even as Big Tech faces flak from regulators over non-competitive practices and makes attempts to comply with the new norms. Earlier this year Apple announced changes to its mobile software, App store and browser to allow users access to rival stores and apps from other sources. Fees charged to companies selling their products and services via the App Store were also reduced significantly.

Apple has not yet issued a statement in response to the report but has pointed to an earlier one where it said, “We’re confident our plan complies with the DMA, and we’ll continue to constructively engage with the European Commission as they conduct their investigations.”

Alphabet as well as Meta are also being investigated, as revealed by the regulator in March, and charges against them in the near future are a possibility.

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