Given new European Union (EU) legislation, Apple may have to allow competitors access to its technologies and services. After the iPhone 15 received a USB-C port at the request of the EU, Apple will probably be forced to allow the installation of alternative app stores and services in the future. This follows the new Digital Markets Act (DMA), which aims to combat the monopoly power of large technology companies.
The DMA is a comprehensive antitrust law aimed at regulating technology companies. This law requires Apple to make changes to the iOS operating system, the App Store and the Safari browser to ensure their compatibility with other companies’ products and services. According to the current version of the bill, the company must meet these requirements by March 5, 2024.
After a meeting with Tim Cook in Brussels, EU Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton emphasized that Apple must open up access to its technologies and services to competitors. “Apple and other tech giants must open their platforms to competitors under the DMA. Users of Apple products should have a choice between competing services and products“, he said.
Apple has expressed concerns that such changes could jeopardize the security and privacy of user data. However, Breton rejected these arguments, saying that EU regulation encourages innovation without compromising security and data protection.
Currently, the iOS 17 operating system does not support the installation of third-party app stores and applications themselves from third-party sources – only from the branded app store. In addition, iOS only supports the proprietary payment system Apple Pay, which is also causing dissatisfaction among antitrust authorities. However, Apple vice president Craig Federighi said the company is actively working with the EU to meet the new DMA requirements.
The potential opening of Apple’s technologies and services to competitors could mark a turning point in the IT industry and provide more options for users. However, security and privacy issues remain more pressing than ever, and Apple must strike a balance between innovation, competition and protecting user data.