Apple allows third-party app stores, but UK users will have to wait

Apple allows third-party app stores, but UK users will have to wait

The Apple logo hangs above the entrance to the Apple Store

The EU Digital Markets Act aims to prevent big platforms such as Apple, Google and Meta from abusing their market dominance. Photo: Mike Segar/Reuters

Apple (AAPL) It is preparing to let alternative app stores onto its iPhones and iPads to meet European Union requirements coming into force in 2024, but they will still stick with Apple apps in the UK.

Under the EU’s new Digital Markets Act (DMA), the rules should allow users to install third-party apps on their iOS devices without using the App Store. In this case, Apple cannot charge the maximum 30% commission on each payment.

The goal is to ensure that large platform owners, or so-called gatekeepers such as Apple, Google and Meta, do not abuse their market dominance.

DMA takes effect in May, but the company has until 2024 to change its ecosystem, as Bloomberg first reported.

However, the rules only apply in Europe, and the United Kingdom shows no signs of adopting similar laws.

Independent app developers are asking the EU not to forget the needs of applet developers under the new rules.

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“It is vital that the introduction of DMA allows Europeans to continue to be protected against malware and bad business practices,” said Mike Sax, founder of the App Association.

“A decline in customer confidence in the safety of installing and purchasing apps may have only a negligible impact on trusted mega-brands, but would be devastating to smaller app developers,” he added.

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App developers of small and medium-sized enterprises, which contribute 210 billion euros to the EU economy annually, are asking Brussels for fair and non-discriminatory conditions for app stores.

“Our members do not have a portfolio of trusted brands or a global distribution network and infrastructure. When our apps are pirated or malware is created, it hurts us directly and can even be an existential threat to our business,” said Sax.

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“We really need platforms to spend millions on intellectual property protection, global market access and customer privacy. “For us, we need the ‘gate’ in the ‘gatekeeper’ to work, keep out fraudulent products and help reach customers in an environment that is perceived as more secure than the wider internet,” he added.

The European Union believes that strict regulation of large technology companies, the so-called gatekeepers of the digital economy, will result in greater competition and choice, greater innovation, better quality and lower prices.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has confirmed that the government will introduce new legislation to protect consumers against fake reviews and subscriptions, as well as give new powers to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to deal with anti-competitive practices in digital markets. But little is known about the limits to Big Tech’s internet power.

Look at: EU Digital Markets Law: What is it and what does the new law mean for you and Big Tech?

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