Apple and Google are among the six gatekeepers by the European Commission, users to be allowed to download alternative app stores

The European Commission has taken a significant step by identifying six gatekeeper companies namely Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, ByteDance, Meta, and Microsoft, under the Digital Markets Act (DMA). A total of 22 essential platform services offered by these gatekeepers have been singled out. There are a few do’s and don’ts mentioned, which also include freedom for the users to download alternative app stores.

A period of six months is given for the gatekeepers for full compliance

For those who do not know, the DMA is aimed at slowing down the anticompetitive practices of major tech giants. These six mentioned companies must now ensure full compliance with the DMA requirements laid out by the Commission for each of their specified core platform services within the next six months. A few do’s and don’ts have been lined up for the gatekeepers in their daily operation.

Do’s for Gatekeepers Don’ts for Gatekeepers
Allow third-party interoperability in specific cases. Give preferential treatment to their own services over similar third-party services.
Grant business users access to data they generate on the platform. Restrict consumers from connecting with external businesses.
Provide advertising companies with tools for independent verification of their ads. Prevent users from uninstalling pre-installed software or apps.
Allow business users to promote offers and make contracts outside the platform. Track end users outside the core platform for targeted ads without proper consent.

One significant result of this development is that it will enable users to access alternative app stores and in-app payment options, without being restricted. In simpler terms, we can say that Epic Games’ battle against industry giants like Google and the App Store has been fruitful as Google and Apple are notoriously known to impose a 30% fee on in-app purchases, which the Fortnite maker had already criticized.

If a gatekeeper fails to meet the obligations outlined in the DMA, the Commission has the authority to levy fines of up to 10% of the company’s global revenue. In the event of repeated violations, this fine can escalate to as much as 20%.

Gatekeeper Designations DMA
Image via EU Competition on Twitter

With this announcement, it seems like the App Store monopoly will going to face a tough time and this certainly is a good thing for the consumers and developers. Hopefully, we’ll see more alternative app stores making their way soon, such as Setapp which already announced the development of an iOS App Store.

What are your thoughts on Apple being named among the six gatekeepers by the European Commission? Let us know in the comments below!

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