Head EU antitrust regulator wants Apple to allow alternate app stores

Posted:
in iOS edited June 10
The chief of the European anti-trust commission, Margrethe Vestager, wants Apple to allow alternate app stores to enable proper competition on its platforms.

European Commission member wants Apple to allow alternate App Stores
European Commission member wants Apple to allow alternate App Stores


The Epic versus Apple trial was not the end of scrutiny against Apple's business practices on the iPhone. Margrethe Vestager, an EU antitrust regulator, hopes to push Apple and other tech companies to open up with new regulations.

In an interview with Kara Swisher on the "Sway" podcast, Vestager spoke about her battles against big tech and what is coming next. Most prominently, she wants legislation that will force "gatekeepers" to allow more competition on the platforms they have created, one being Apple.

"What we have tabled now as proposed legislation is to say, well, if you buy these objective criteria, qualitative and quantitative, will be designated as a gatekeeper, then from the very first day these are the things that you cannot do," Vestager said while describing the Digital Markets Act. "These are the things that you have to do. Have to do could be make room for a second app store. Have to do could be share data."

Vestager believes a lot of Epic's complaints could be solved by allowing a second App Store. Apps on Apple's platform have to be in the Apple-controlled store, use Apple-controlled payments, and engage with customers following Apple-controlled rules.

Swisher noted that Apple's arguments for the single App Store and maintaining control of it, are to maintain privacy and security. Specifically, Swisher proposed that since Apple created the market, it should be able to control it.

It is these restrictions, and a single-party both creating and controlling the market that led to unfair competitive practices, according to Vestager. Apple doesn't have to pay a fee for its digital sales to itself, she believes, therefore the company is competing with an advantage right out of the gate.

"Now, I think a second app store, that is in the future," said Vestager. "That will take time, because it's in a legislative proposal that we have tabled in front of the European Parliament. But I would hope that we could conclude this case in good time. And then we'd see how to remedy this. Depends, of course, very much on the Apple answer to our concerns."

Vestager also discussed her involvement with the $15 billion Irish tax bill that the EU sided with Apple on. She believes her approach may have been too aggressive and could have damaged the authority of the European Commission.

Ultimately, Vestager believes that the short-term solution for companies like Apple is to pass regulations now and begin building for a bigger goal later. Get Apple to allow alternate app stores and pay fair taxes in the short term, and perhaps in the next 100 years, get some kind of global tax authority in place.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 82
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,286member
    Wants are nice. I want Apple to acquire Yelp. But this woman can F off and let Apple run Apple like Apple wants.
    edited June 10 mwhitechaickaGRKosturAppleUfmyIaderutterwilliamlondonrob53pulseimagesJanNLviclauyyc
  • Reply 2 of 82
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,540member
    Apple should tell them to go screw, preemptively.  These bureaucrats are unreal.  “We think this should be the way Apple runs things.  Make it so!”   I’d love to see Apple *really* use it’s dominant position. Issue a statement in response saying “If such requirements are implemented, Apple will strongly consider ending all business in the European Union.”   
    chaickaGRKosturAppleUfmyIrob53damn_its_hotpujones1pulseimagesJanNLviclauyycBeats
  • Reply 3 of 82
    It's ironic that part of Epic's complaints against Apple are that they supposedly don't do enough to warrant a 30% cut, but the EU's solution would be to introduce stores run by middle-men who would still charge a commission while also having absolutely no role (and no risk) in developing the hardware or the OS or the developers tools. 
    AppleUfmyIwilliamlondonrob53damn_its_hotchiamike1pujones1JanNLviclauyycBeats
  • Reply 4 of 82
    That's the right thing, users should be able to choose.
    I don't think it would harm Apple really hard, but it would bring freedom to the platform.
    When Apple allows third party app stores, it could be done with maintaining the iOS security model (only app review is done by another company).
    williamlondonelijahgBeatsdarkvader
  • Reply 5 of 82
    chaickachaicka Posts: 236member
    If Apple products become like Android, I will be among the first to migrate away to first viable alternative. Just as much as being among the first to rid all Facebook-related apps off every single device I own and/or use, and going back to the web-based since there’s less data for them to track with (for now).

    Regulators are nothing but trying ways to milk cows for their own fundings. Are they really standing on the side of the massive consumers’ side who voted with their wallets on Apple products?

    is she just trying to reduce Apple into the yesterdecade’s Nokia?
    AppleUfmyIrob53pujones1viclauyycBeatsrobabaDogperson
  • Reply 6 of 82
    Withdraw from the EU and setup a distribution centre in the UK, we can post all your Apple products back over to you.
    macca
  • Reply 7 of 82
    escanescan Posts: 5member
    As I wrote under another headline, I will start trusting European commission when they do something about Spotify, which is clearly a monopoly that uses its market power to pay artists less than half of what its competitors pay. Instead, the EU is siding with the giant in the music streaming business to handicap the other company that gives users a choice. Would they feel the same if Apple was a European company and Spotify was American?
    williamlondonpujones1viclauyycBeatsentropysrobabamontrosemacsDogpersonmacca
  • Reply 8 of 82
    harrykatsarosharrykatsaros Posts: 31unconfirmed, member
    We want Apple to allow developers to be able to take advantage of Apple's platform in a way that cuts Apple completely out of that process, while also compromising the security of the platform and the privacy of its users. Hmmm... 
    edited June 10 rob53pujones1BeatsrobabamontrosemacsDogperson
  • Reply 9 of 82
    opinionopinion Posts: 7member
    If anything these bureaucrats should take a closer look at why tax financed operations like running governments, all kind of public authorities, municipalities and so on and in fact the EU-organisation itself favours the Windows-platform to a point where no other platforms is practically allowed. That is an even bigger question to ask.
    elijahgchiapujones1JanNLviclauyycentropystht
  • Reply 10 of 82
    We want Apple to allow developers to be able to take advantage of Apple's platform in a way that cuts Apple completely out of that process, while also compromising the security of the platform and the privacy of its users. Hmmm... 
    The security of the platform comes from iOS. Apps loaded from alternate app stores would have exactly the same privileges as apps loaded from Apple's app store – just app review is done by a different institution. If you don't trust a institution, you can decide which app stores you trust.
    elijahgZeebler
  • Reply 11 of 82
    opinionopinion Posts: 7member
    And anyway, for me as a user I think it is an advantage to buy all apps from the same safe place. The alternatives seems pretty shitty to speak clearly.
    robabaDogperson
  • Reply 12 of 82
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,515member
    xyzzy-xxx said:
    That's the right thing, users should be able to choose.
    I don't think it would harm Apple really hard, but it would bring freedom to the platform.
    When Apple allows third party app stores, it could be done with maintaining the iOS security model (only app review is done by another company).
    Wrong on so many counts. No other iOS App Store would be as secure as Apple’s, plain and simple. 99% of Apple product users want consistency which would not be there with third-party app stores. Think about them instead of yourself. People who visit this forum generally aren’t normal users and it’s our responsibility to look out for them. 
    mike1pujones1JanNLpscooter63robababaconstangNoFliesOnMeDogpersonmacca
  • Reply 13 of 82
    Just remarkable how they make it sound like there is no competing App Store.   Buy an android if you want multiple app stores.  It’s strategy for that platform and many people like that.  In fact the majority of phone users seems to like that.  I buy Apple for the closed system which is Apples strategy.  Buy the one that works and stop complaining.  Even EPIC can just stay on Android.  If it’s important enough to the consumer, buy an Android.   If it’s important enough for Apple to have EPIC, they will resolve their dispute.  Silly that regulators get involved in this and don’t deal with real issues like pollution, terrorism, food supply contamination, electrical grid resilience.  Lives depend on this stuff.
    opinionchiaJanNLrobabaJWSCmontrosemacsNoFliesOnMeDogperson
  • Reply 14 of 82
    MactintMactint Posts: 4member
    I want Disney Land to accept tickets from SixFlags to allow for competition. 
    edited June 10 opiniondamn_its_hotmike1chiapujones1JanNLviclauyycpscooter63entropysrobaba
  • Reply 15 of 82
    mike1mike1 Posts: 2,631member
    Mactint said:
    I want Disney Land to accept tickets from SixFlags to allow for competition. 

    Disney should be required to sell tickets to Six flags too.
    entropysDogperson
  • Reply 16 of 82
    barthrhbarthrh Posts: 106member
    xyzzy-xxx said:The security of the platform comes from iOS. Apps loaded from alternate app stores would have exactly the same privileges as apps loaded from Apple's app store – just app review is done by a different institution. If you don't trust a institution, you can decide which app stores you trust.
    That would be great if people took personal accountability. Apple does a lot to curate apps, to make sure that they are not trojan horses. In an alternate app store, you can bet that apps that prompt for credit card and other personal information will exist.  When a user installs an app that steals their info or damages their device/data in some way, it's Apple that'll go under the bus. 
    KTRNoFliesOnMe
  • Reply 17 of 82
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 2,314member
    Kara Swisher is wrong when she says it’s only for security and privacy that Apple has an exclusive App Store. It’s also to get financial compensation for all the products and two dozen services Apple provides related to the App Store. 

    If there are multiple app stores, who don’t give Apple the same 30% cut, then Apple will lose its profit for all of those two dozen services. 

    The only thing I blame Apple for is not putting up a decent fight against these lunatics who want something for nothing. 

    As I’ve been saying all alone here for two years, some jurisdiction will ban Apple’s 30% fee and then Apple will need to remove all app stores from that market. And this will happen because Apple doesn’t want to put up a fight. 
    JanNL
  • Reply 18 of 82
    xyzzy-xxx said:
    That's the right thing, users should be able to choose.
    I don't think it would harm Apple really hard, but it would bring freedom to the platform.
    When Apple allows third party app stores, it could be done with maintaining the iOS security model (only app review is done by another company).
    Users should be able to choose their gatekeepers? That's rich.
    You'd think Epic would go after Xbox and PlayStation walled gardens in court, but nah, why do that when they can tap into the wellspring of animosity from people who wish Apple just used Android?
    robabaDogperson
  • Reply 19 of 82
    pwrmacpwrmac Posts: 2member
    I live in the EU. The greedy money spending institution of suits. This b.tch should be locked-up. She should spend time and energy in development of more EU alternatives for these "gatekeepers"! Tip for Apple. If forced to allow third party App stores then Apple make sure every App pays a considerably monthly fee for usage an maintenance of the platform. F..the EU!!
    JanNLgenovelleDogpersonmacca
  • Reply 20 of 82
    dewmedewme Posts: 3,605member
    If they want to promote openness they need to quit picking on individual vendors like Apple. It would be far more productive to promote and help develop some sort of universal, open standard web-based app marketplace and then try to convince Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Google, etc., to incorporate integration with the open standard, not the other way around. The continued, unrelenting, and perverse fetish the EU has around trying to get into Apple's shorts is sickening.
    JanNLpscooter63robabaentropysDogpersonqwerty52
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