Apple: Restrictions on Downloads in Europe in 2024

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Apple, One of the biggest companies of tech currently in market, has released a policy regarding downloads outside appstore. The company is famously known for their tactics in monopolization and establishing dominance over the app market. The policy seems to be strictly for european markets and has no bearing over the US market. This new policy is part of bigtech aka apple’s efforts to comply with the European Union’s Digital Markets Act to avoid any legal inquiry.

Apple's Policy

Apple’s new policy says that it will charge a fee for apps that are downloaded outside of it’s own appstore on their devices. Whether this fee will be big or small isn’t commented upon by the company as of yet. This is for them to stay in compliance with the European Union’s Digital Markets Act while still upholding the dominance that they have over the app market. The fee is likely to be a deterrent for developers offering downloads outside their own appstore. Apple already takes 30% of the cut of apps available in the appstore and has faced allegations of boosting it’s own apps.

Image credit: business insider

European Union’s Digital Markets Act

The European Digital Markets Act was passed in November of 2022 but it didn’t come into effect till May of 2023. The act aimed at shifting the power dynamics at play in digital markets in Europe with tech giants leading the front and curbing any effort made by smaller setups trying to make a name for themselves. It aimed at providing fair grounds for competition in digital markets for everyone. The act aimed specifically at six companies in particular termed gatekeepers of the Internet. These 6 are Google parent Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, TikTok parent ByteDance, Facebook and Instagram parent Meta and Microsoft.

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Company response

Different companies responded differently to the changing conditions in the market. The effort from apple seems like they want to continue old business practices but avoid any legal scrutiny. Meanwhile Meta said that it would provide a choice to facebook and Instagram users located in Europe whether they would like to comply with the act or not. Google has faced backlash over some practices in “Google play” but it should be noted here that android users were already allowed to download apps from other sources. For US users, apple recently updated their policy allowing developers to use third party services provided they give apple a 27% cut.

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