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It has been confirmed that plans for European antitrust law include Apple


Finally, an agreement was reached on the scope of the planned European antitrust legislation. It was previously unclear whether Apple would be included in the target companies, but it has now been confirmed that the definition will be broad enough to include the iPhone maker.

There were significant disagreements over the appropriate targets for the planned EU Digital Markets Act (DMA). Some wanted it to be laser-focused on social networks like Facebook and Twitter, while others wanted it to target the biggest technology companies…

However, the Financial Times reports that a relatively broad definition of target companies has now been agreed.

The main political parties of the European Parliament agreed on Wednesday to an agreement that would apply to companies with a market capitalization of at least 80 billion euros and offering at least one internet service, such as internet search, to four people with direct knowledge of the discussions.

This means that the rules will attract more companies than thought in the planned EU Digital Markets Act (DMA), a broad effort to curb big technology. Brussels hopes to implement the law next year.

Companies including Google, Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft would fall under its scope, along with Dutch Booking and Chinese Alibaba.

Apple of course offers an increasing number of online services, including iCloud, Apple Music, Apple TV +, Apple News, Apple Arcade and Fitness +.

The vote will continue to take place in the European Parliament next week, but given that all major political parties are involved, this should now be a formality.

The primary risk for Apple relates to the App Store. In the US, the court ruled that the App Store is not a monopoly, but has a dominant position in the market, and is subject to certain fair play rules, the main of which is to allow developers to direct customers to off-platform payment options. Within Europe, however, the question of “monopoly or not” is still unanswered.

Apple claims that it does not have a dominant position in this market, because it considers that the relevant market is either “smartphones” or “applications”. Since the company holds a minority share of the smartphone market in most of the countries in which it operates, it believes it cannot be considered to have a dominant position.

Competition regulators tend to take the position that the relevant market is “iOS apps,” and here Apple has a 100% monopoly on their sales and distribution. If we ignore the marginal cases, there is no way for a developer to launch an iOS app without selling it through the App Store.

Photo: Frederic Köberl / Unsplash

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Naveen Kumar

Friendly communicator. Music maven. Explorer. Pop culture trailblazer. Social media practitioner.

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