Apple first company to be found violating DMA

Today, the European Commission has informed Apple of its preliminary view that its App Store rules are in breach of the Digital Markets Act (DMA), as they prevent app developers from freely steering consumers to alternative channels for offers and content.

In addition, the Commission opened a new non-compliance procedure against Apple over concerns that its new contractual requirements for third-party app developers and app stores, including Apple’s new “Core Technology Fee”, fall short of ensuring effective compliance with Apple’s obligations under the DMA.

↫ European Commission press release

File this in the category for entirely expected news that is the opposite of surprising. Apple has barely even been maliciously compliant with the DMA, and the European Commission is entirely right in pursuing the company for its continued violation of the law. The DMA really isn’t a very complicated law, and the fact the world’s most powerful and wealthiest corporation in the world can’t seem to adapt its products to the privacy and competition laws here in the EU is clearly just a bunch of grandstanding and whining.

In fact, I find that the European Commission is remarkably lenient and cooperative in its dealings with the major technology giants in general, and Apple in particular. They’ve been in talks with Apple for a long time now in preparation for the DMA, the highest-ranking EU officials regularly talked with Apple and Tim Cook, they’ve been given ample warnings, instructions, and additional time to make sure their products do not violate the law – as a European Union citizen, I can tell you no small to medium business or individual EU citizen gets this kind of leniency and silk gloves treatment. Everything Apple is reaping, it sowed all by itself.

As I posted on Mastodon a few days ago:

The EU enacted a new law a while ago that all bottle caps should remain attached to the bottle, to combat plastic trash.

All the bottle and packaging makers, from massive multinationals like Coca Cola and fucking Nestlé to small local producers invested in the development of new caps, changing their production lines, and shipping the new caps. Today, a month before the law goes into effect, it’s basically impossible to find a bottle without an attached cap.

I don’t know, I thought this story was weirdly relevant right now with Apple being a whiny bitch. Imagine being worse than Coca Cola and motherfucking Nestlé.

↫ Thom Holwerda

Apple is in this mess and facing insane fines as high as 10% of their worldwide turnover because spoiled, rich, privileged brats like Tim Cook are not used to anyone ever saying “no”. Silicon Valley has shown, time and time again, from massive data collection for advertising purposes to scraping the entire web for machine learning, that they simply do not understand consent. Now that there’s finally someone big, strong, and powerful enough to not take Silicon Valley’s bullshit, they start throwing tamper tantrums like toddlers.

Apple’s public attacks on the European Union – and their instructions to their PR attack dogs to step it up a notch – are not doing them any favours, either. The EU is, contrary to just about any other government body in the Western world, ridiculously popular among its citizens, and laws that curb the power of megacorps are even more popular. I honestly have no idea who’s running their PR department, because they’re doing a terrible job, at least here in the EU.


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