Apple is facing mounting criticism for its proposed implementation of the Digital Markets Act (DMA), a new European Union regulation that aims to level the playing field for digital markets.
The DMA requires tech giants like Apple to allow users to install apps from third-party sources and to allow developers to use alternative payment methods.
Apple has said it will comply with the DMA, but it has also proposed a number of changes that critics say are designed to keep the company’s grip on the App Store.
One of the most controversial changes is a proposed new fee of 0.50 euros ($0.56) for every app download, even if the app is free.
Critics say this fee is unfair and unnecessary, and they argue that it will drive up the cost of apps for consumers.
We believe constructive conversations drive change and progress towards open platforms and greater competition. Apple's new policy is a step in the wrong direction. We hope they listen to feedback on their proposed plan and work towards a more inclusive future for all. https://t.co/mDRI5KPJf6— BondSarahBond (@BondSarah_Bond) January 29, 2024
Another concern is that Apple is proposing to continue charging developers a 17% commission on all in-app purchases, even if those purchases are made through a third-party payment method.
This would mean that developers would have to pay two fees for every in-app purchase, one to Apple and one to the third-party payment processor.
“Apple’s proposal is a sneaky attempt to undermine the DMA,” said Frederike Kaltheuner, director of policy at the European Consumer Organization. “It would effectively allow Apple to keep its monopoly on the App Store and continue to charge high fees to developers and consumers.”
The European Commission is expected to begin reviewing Apple’s proposal on March 7. If the commission finds that Apple is trying to circumvent the DMA, the company could face fines of up to 10% of its global annual turnover.