EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager says new EU regulations targeting Apple and other big tech companies will come into force in early 2023.
The EU’s Digital Markets Act (DMA) could force Apple to make major changes to the App Store, Messages, FaceTime, third-party browsers and Siri in Europe. For example, it may be necessary to allow users to install third-party app stores and download apps. In addition, it will have to offer developers the possibility to interact more with Apple services, to promote their offers outside the App Store and to use third-party payment systems.
In addition, the DMA will introduce the obligation to make messaging services, voice calls and video calls interoperable. This means that applications from the Meta group such as WhatsApp or Messenger, for example, will be able to interact with the iMessage framework and Apple would be obliged to comply with this rule.
The DMA was originally scheduled to come into force in October 2022, but Vestager said the regulation’s entry into force has been delayed until spring 2023. European lawmakers tentatively approved the DMA last March. Before it can enter into force, however, the European Parliament and the European Council must give their final approval.
In addition to the European Union, the Apple ecosystem is coming under increasing scrutiny from governments around the world, including the United States, United Kingdom, Japan, and South Korea. .Vestager urged national competition regulators around the world to continue to cooperate.
“Close cooperation with competition authorities, both inside and outside the EU, will be crucial for the next chapter. And this whether they apply traditional tools or whether they have developed their own specific regulatory tools, such as German digital legislation. Close collaboration will be necessary as there will be no lack of work and no shortage of new services or practices to consider. The efforts required on a global scale are enormous. We will therefore have to work together more than ever. »
The DMA says companies that ignore the rules face fines of up to 10% of the company’s total worldwide annual revenue, or up to 20% for repeated violations. In the event of “systematic violations”, the European Commission may impose additional sanctions. These include the obligation to sell an asset or parts thereof, including units, assets, intellectual property rights or trademarks, or to prohibit the acquisition of any business that provides services in the digital sector.