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Apple to Now Allow Third-party App Stores as EU Passes Digital Markets Act

Yusuf Balogun
Yusuf Balogun
Yusuf is a law graduate and freelance journalist with a keen interest in tech reporting.

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As the European Union passed the Digital Markets Act, DMA, into law this summer, the American tech giant Apple is now required to allow third-party app stores. The new legislation has officially gone into effect at the start of November and it is expected to regulate the work of gatekeepers, that is, technology companies that have a significant impact on the market.

As confirmed by an EU official, Apple is now forced to open up the iPhone to third-party app stores following the passage of the Act. The European Commission Gerard de Graaf clarifies DMA will also include Apple’s ban on installing third-party applications on the iPhone: 

“If you have an iPhone, you should be able to download apps not only from the App Store but also from other app stores or the Internet,” Gerard de Graaf, Head of the EU Delegation in San Francisco 

However, it should be noted that the new DMA covers companies that meet the following criteria: an annual turnover in the EU of at least 7.5 billion euros or a market capitalization of at least 75 billion dollars; at least 45 million active users from the EU; and the previous criteria must be met for at least the last three years.

Digital Markets Act: A Gatekeeper To Technology Companies

Meanwhile, as per reports, the European Union is expected to announce the full list of eligible organizations next spring. After that, companies will have 6 months to bring their activities in line with the law. The gatekeepers must comply with various legal requirements in their day-to-day activities. A few examples are: 

  • Allow service users to remove pre-installed applications and change default settings;
  • Allow service users to easily unsubscribe from services. 

Additionally, gatekeepers are prohibited from placing their services above those of competitors’ offerings or tracking users outside of their platform without explicit permission. The European Commission has the authority to fine the gatekeeper up to 10% of the company’s total yearly revenue and up to 20% for persistent infractions if they don’t follow the guidelines.


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