Apple’s iPadOS will have to comply with EU’s Digital Markets Act too | TechCrunch

The EU will apply its key market fairness and competitiveness rules to Apple’s iPadOS, Commission says announced Today – expanding the number of Apple-owned platforms regulated under Digital Markets Act (DMA) to four and increasing the regulatory risk for the tech giant by bringing its tablet ecosystem into the fold.

Apple has six months to ensure that iPadOS is DMA compliant.

This development could force significant changes to the way tablet platforms operate in the EU as Apple would have to ensure it is complying with DMA mandates, such as a ban on so-called “gatekeepers” who prioritize themselves. Are capable of. Services and requirements that allow support for third party app stores, sideloading of apps, and third party payment options.

Apple will also need to open access Non-WebKit versions of Safari on iPadOS in the next six months, as it has already done on iOS in another DMA compliance phase. While business users reaching customers through tablet platforms will have a legal right to FRAND (fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory) terms.

last fall The Commission has designated Apple’s mobile platform iOS, the App Store and the Safari browser subject to the DMA’s set of up-front “do’s and don’ts” – which include stiff penalties for any violations (about 1.5% of the global annual turnover Up to 10% or even more for repeat offences).

Apple has since announced several changes to the way the platform operates in the region. But some aspects of its response to the DMA are already under formal investigation for suspected non-compliance. Commission launches first wave of formal DMA investigations last month,

Apple’s tablet operating system was not included in the EU’s first DMA designations last year because user numbers did not meet the threshold. However, the Regulation also gives the Commission the flexibility to consider qualitative criteria where tech giants hold a strong and sustainable position. Same thing has happened here.

Announcing the results of its market investigation, the Commission said it had found that business users of iPadOS are eleven times the limit, while end user numbers are “close” to the limit and are predicted to grow in the near future.

Its investigation also found that both end users and business users are “locked-in” to using iPadOS. It reads, “Apple leverages its large ecosystem to discourage end users from switching to other operating systems for tablets.” “Business users are locked-in to iPadOS because of its large and commercially attractive user base and its importance to certain use cases, such as gaming apps.”

,[D]Despite not meeting the quantitative limits prescribed in the DMA, [iPadOS] It is an important gateway for business users to reach end users and hence should be designated as gatekeepers,” the Commission said.

Apple responded to the designation of iPadOS with an emailed statement. “We will continue to engage constructively with the European Commission to ensure compliance with the DMA across all designated services. “Our focus will remain on providing the best products and services to our European customers, while minimizing the new privacy and data security risks posed to our users by the DMA,” the company wrote.

The Commission allowed itself 12 months to conduct a market investigation of iPadOS. Considering that it prompted the review so soon after the announcement of the first DMA designations, it took the EU approximately eight months to conclude this qualitative look at the tablet platform. The Commission confirmed that this is the first and so far the only market investigation since the DMA was up and running.

In the previous decision, back in februaryThe EU decided against designating Apple’s iMessage subject to DMA – avoiding the obligation to make its messaging systems interoperable.