The EU Parliament has successfully passed a key piece of antitrust law targeting technology companies – the Digital Markets Act (DMA)† The long bill has a number of implications, but there are three in particular that put Apple in trouble.
First, the law is bound to cause some disruption to Apple’s famous (or infamous, depending on who you ask) ecosystem. Apple users around the world have long struggled with sending a text message only to be confronted with a green speech bubble.
Cross OS support for iMessage, one of the most established benefits when it comes to using Apple products, has long been a much-requested feature. The DMA could remedy that by forcing Apple to implement some form of message interoperability.
Second, the DMA will prompt Apple to closely incorporate third-party payment methods into iOS apps. Developers should, in theory, be free to choose which platform best suits their needs and use it accordingly.
Third, and perhaps most interestingly, the DMA could lead to the App Store losing its monopoly over users’ choice when it comes to downloading apps on their Apple devices. The DMA could force Apple to tolerate competing app providers to work side-by-side with its precious App Store.
All in all, the EU could prove to be the biggest hurdle to Apple’s way of preserving the integrity of its business model. Having already resolved the USB-C standard issue (and, by extension, threatened Apple’s own Lighting port standard), the EU has set its sights on the software aspect of Apple’s ecosystem.
Even if this puts some pain in the back of Apple, consumers are sure to rejoice in someone finally questioning some of the US tech giant’s controversial practices. After all, Apple can’t get away with everything just because it’s the largest tech company in the world. On the contrary – with great power comes great… legislation