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After USB-C win, EU now wants Apple to open up its gates to rivals
- The European Commission wants Apple to open up its gates to competitors.
- The legislating body wants iPhone users to benefit from competitive services like electronic wallets, app stores, or browsers.
After years of back and forth, Apple finally had to submit to EU regulations by booting out Lightning and adopting USB-C on iPhones. But Europe isn’t done with Apple, and its next act would be to make the Cupertino giant open up its walled garden to rivals.
Thierry Breton, the European Commissioner for Internal Market, recently met with Apple CEO Tim Cook to discuss the implementation of the Digital Markets Act (DMA). The new law aims to make markets in the digital sector fairer and more contestable. In doing so, it threatens the way Apple conducts its App Store and messaging businesses.
Breton’s comments after meeting Cook suggest Apple might be forced into working with competition. “The next job for Apple and other Big Tech, under the DMA, is to open up its gates to competitors,” Breton told Reuters. “Be it the electronic wallet, browsers, or app stores, consumers using an Apple iPhone should be able to benefit from competitive services by a range of providers,” he said.
Together with Apple’s CEO @tim_cook 🍏“Only one” — making cable clutter a thing of the past 🔌Next: opening up gates to competitors #DMAThe EU is a major market for US companies and an opportunity to innovate & diversify their supply chains 🇪🇺 pic.twitter.com/YX6qpVnfk1— Thierry Breton (@ThierryBreton) September 26, 2023
Apple technically has till March 5, 2024, to comply with the Digital Markets Act and permit either third-party app stores or sideloading of apps on iPhones. The European Commission is also investigating whether iMessage should also come under the purview of the DMA. If the commission decides that Apple’s messaging platform is popular enough, it would be required to offer interoperability with other messaging platforms from other companies.
Apple hasn’t responded to Breton’s recent comments, but the company has been opposed to the DMA’s rules, citing security and privacy concerns for its users if it is forced to comply. But Breton says, “EU regulation fosters innovation without compromising on security and privacy.”
Meanwhile, responding to Breton’s targetted comments at Apple, Nothing CEO Carl Pei took to X, formerly Twitter, saying he is “Looking forward to more positive change for consumers and the planet!”