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Apple singled out by 34 organizations for its lackluster compliance with European regulations

Like it or not, Apple will have to comply with European regulations on March 7.

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Apple singled out by 34 organizations for its lackluster compliance with European regulations

Like it or not, Apple will have to comply with European regulations on March 7. But so far, the account would not be there. A group of 34 companies or professional associations, active in the digital economy, denounces in a letter to the European Commission the measures announced by Apple to comply from Thursday with the new reinforced competition rules in the EU. “We are very concerned that Apple's proposed plan to comply with the Digital Markets Regulation (DMA) (...) will not meet the requirements of this legislation,” write these groups from several European countries. Among the signatories are the music streaming services Deezer and Spotify, the France digitale start-up association, the European Fintech association EFA (financial technologies) and the European Newspaper Publishers Association ENPA. Their letter, dated March 1, is addressed to European Commissioners Thierry Breton and Margrethe Vestager, responsible for the new legislation.

Apple, as well as five other digital giants - Alphabet (Google), Amazon, Meta (Facebook, Instagram), Microsoft and ByteDance (TikTok) - have until March 7 to comply with the DMA. This new regulation intends to put an end to the abuse of dominant position of which they are accused, and imposes on them a series of obligations and prohibitions, under penalty of very heavy fines. Openly hostile to the DMA, Apple announced on January 25 several modifications to its iOS operating system, which equips its famous iPhone phones. The Apple brand affirms, for example, that it will authorize application stores competing with its App Store and that it will open up to other contactless payment services than its Apple Pay solution, as it is forced to do. “Apple's new conditions not only ignore the spirit and letter of the law, but if they remain unchanged, they make a mockery of the DMA,” believe the 34 organizations in their missive.

Also read: Thierry Breton: “The Digital Markets Act will force tech giants to respect European rules”

Since the start of the year, the groups affected by the DMA have increased their announcements to comply. But many experts or companies in the sector have expressed doubts about the real effectiveness of these changes, denouncing cosmetic reforms which will not bring the expected benefits for consumers and competing companies. “Once the compliance solutions are known next week, they must be analyzed correctly by the Commission and the stakeholders, in their entirety and not just on the basis of a few announcements,” the Commission underlined on Saturday, contacted by the AFP regarding the letter. “We will not hesitate to act” in the event of an infraction, she warned. Apple is particularly targeted by the DMA, because the Californian giant has built its success on a closed ecosystem of which it controls all the parameters, citing increased security for its users. This philosophy is in direct opposition to the opening to competition advocated by the EU.

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