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EU Claims Apple Has ‘Very Serious’ Non-Compliance Issues

EU-commission building

The EU is continuing to come down hard on unsavoury practices by Big Tech, strengthened by the recent introduction of the Digital Markets Act (DMA).

European Union antitrust monitors have identified several “very serious” issues with Apple’s business practices that are potentially non-compliant with the bloc’s digital business law, the European Commissioner for Competition, Margrethe Vestager, said in an interview with CNBC.

Last week ChannelNews reported that Apple is staring at becoming the first major tech company to be fined under the DMA in the EU.

In March itself, the European Commission began investigating potential breaches related to Apple’s new fee structure for alternative app stores. It was ascertaining whether Apple charges a “Core Technology Fee” for developers who want to “steer” users to offers outside of its App Store. There’s also an additional 3 per cent that goes to Apple if a developer uses its payment processor.

A subsequent report in the Financial Times last week indicated that Apple has indeed been found to have breached the rules of the DMA and would face a fine of up to 5 per cent of its global daily turnover per day for non-compliance – that would amount to a fine of around A$75.72 million per day.

Vestager revealed that the European Commission is close to formally revealing the results of its investigation.

“We have a number of Apple issues. I find them very serious. I was very surprised that we would have such suspicions of Apple being non-compliant,” said Vestager.

″[Apple is] very important because a lot of good business happens through the App Store, happens through payment mechanisms, so of course, even though you know I can say this is not what was expected of such a company, of course we will enforce exactly with the same dedication and with the same top priority as with any other business,” Vestager added.

Even if the EU does find that Apple is in breach of its rules, it isn’t likely that Apple will be immediately fined. It will likely be the case that it would be given time to remedy the situation before the penalty is enforced.

Apart from Apple, the EU is also actively investigating the practices of Meta and Google’s parent Alphabet., while keeping a close eye on Amazon too.

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