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Even Apple concedes that rival app stores are inevitable in the EU

Apple has until March 5, 2024, to comply with the Digital Markets Act.

Published onNovember 9, 2023

Apple Logo Apple Store BKC 3
Aamir Siddiqui / Android Authority
  • Financial filings from Apple show it expects to be required to allow rival app stores on its platform across the EU.
  • After passing the Digital Markets Act last year, the EU told Apple it would have to open its App Store to competitors.
  • Apple expects this change will reduce the number of sales from the App Store and the commission they earn from those sales.

Since its inception, the App Store has prevented third-party app stores from appearing on its platform. But that may not be the case for much longer, at least in the EU. Apple expects to be required to open its doors as soon as next year.

On November 1, 2022, the EU passed the Digital Markets Act, which went into full effect on May 2, 2023. The main focus of the regulation was to force companies, like Apple, to offer alternative app stores and payment methods on their platforms. After the act’s passing, European Commissioner Thierry Breton called out Apple to open up its ecosystem. Although the tech giant tried to fight back, it appears it has quietly accepted the inevitable.

In financial filings, viewed by Apple Insider, Apple states, “The Company expects to make further business changes in the future, including as a result of legislative initiatives impacting the App Store.” The firm continues on to say “such as the European Union (“EU”) Digital Markets Act, which the Company is required to comply with by March 2024.”

It looks like Apple fears that this change will have a negative impact on its financials. This “could reduce the volume of sales, and the commission that the Company earns on those sales, would decrease,” Apple claims. “The Company’s business, results of operations and financial condition could be materially adversely affected.”

Apple has until March 5, 2024, to comply with the Digital Markets Act. The European Commission is also looking into whether the Digital Markets Act should apply to the iPhone’s iMessage app as well.

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