Meta & Microsoft are lobbying the EU to reject Apple's new App Store plans [u]

Posted:
in iOS edited February 21

Ahead of Apple's proposals for third-party App Stores coming out of beta, firms including Meta and Microsoft are lobbying the EU in the hopes that it will reject the plans.

The App Store is changing in Europe.
The App Store is changing in Europe



Apple has detailed how it proposes to follow the European Union's laws in its Digital Markets Act, and specifically over opening up the iPhone to alternative app stores. Major developers who pushed for these changes have disapproved of Apple's plans and called them extortion.

From March 7, 2024, Apple's plans come out of beta with the public release of iOS 17.4, and from that date, it must be in compliance with the new laws. This means that also from that date, the EU can impose fines on Apple -- and according to the Financial Times, rivals hope to persuade the Union that Apple has failed to comply.

"The initial steps [to comply] that Apple has put forward are very prohibitive to us actually creating a meaningful alternative to the one store that's available on the world's largest gaming platforms, which are mobile phones," Microsoft gaming chief Phil Spencer told the publication. "So we will continue to work with regulators to open that up."

For Meta, CEO Mark Zuckerberg has described Apple's rules as "onerous" and so against the spirit of the EU's regulation that he would be surprised "if any developer chose to go into the alternative app stores."

According to the Financial Times, Apple has said that it spent "months in conversation with the European Commission" about its plans, and the result is based on the work of "hundreds of Apple team members who spent tens of thousands of hours."

The publication has no details yet of specific filings or complaints being made to the EU. However, the EU has said that it can launch a non-compliance procedure against any firm covered by its Digital Markets Act, once the March 7 deadline has passed.

Any such procedure would be prompted by either complaints from third parties, or the EU's own observations. It would then be likely to include the EU receiving submissions from interested parties, which is when Meta, Microsoft and others could file complaints.

In response to criticism of its EU App Store proposals, Apple has issued a statement stressing both its compliance with the law.

Who will object to Apple



It's probable that alongside Meta and Microsoft, firms such as Spotify, and Epic Games will object. Although Epic Games has now applied for, and received, a new Apple Developer licence specifically for the EU App Store.

Spotify has announced that it will give EU iPhone users the ability to buy subscriptions within its own app, which it claims was previously "outside of our control." In truth, Spotify could always offer subscriptions within the app, it has chosen against it in order to not pay Apple a fee per subscriber.

Epic Games has called out Apple for what he says is "malicious compliance" with the EU's DMA, seemingly erroneously describing Apple's rules as illegal.

Separately, Epic Games has also already announced that it plans to file a court motion, saying Apple has failed to comply with App Store rules in the US too.

Updated: 11:10 A.M. ET with news of Apple's response.



Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 15

    They sound worried. While not ideal for the security/privacy aspects, it does mean it's one less reason for people to choose Android over iOS.

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 15
    LOL...those companies don't have "meaningful alternatives" to Steam on Windows. Steam totally dominates the platform and companies like MS and Epic have some tiny boutique stores in comparison. 
    PauloSeraaStrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 15
    rob53rob53 Posts: 3,251member
    It's amazing that Apple is the only company being forced to open up its system. Meta, Microsoft, Spotify and Epic Games don't make any hardware, they only make software. Without Apple's hardware, or in the case of Microsoft any PC hardware, there wouldn't be any third-party software being developed. Apple makes hardware and software and does a great job of integrating the two. The others are simply leaches, forcing Apple to allow them to use Apple hardware for free. Of course the EU doesn't want to admit they're complicit in forcing a company to allow other companies to use Apple hardware just because they say so. Maybe I should go to an EU country, walk into a store and simply take something without paying for it. That's what the EU is doing--get something for free. As for the hypocritical CEOs of worthless companies like Meta and Microsoft, we all remember that neither company is capable of producing any hardware people actually want to buy.
    strongydanoxwilliamlondonStrangeDaysappleinsideruserwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 4 of 15
    danoxdanox Posts: 2,851member
    rob53 said:
    It's amazing that Apple is the only company being forced to open up its system. Meta, Microsoft, Spotify and Epic Games don't make any hardware, they only make software. Without Apple's hardware, or in the case of Microsoft any PC hardware, there wouldn't be any third-party software being developed. Apple makes hardware and software and does a great job of integrating the two. The others are simply leaches, forcing Apple to allow them to use Apple hardware for free. Of course the EU doesn't want to admit they're complicit in forcing a company to allow other companies to use Apple hardware just because they say so. Maybe I should go to an EU country, walk into a store and simply take something without paying for it. That's what the EU is doing--get something for free. As for the hypocritical CEOs of worthless companies like Meta and Microsoft, we all remember that neither company is capable of producing any hardware people actually want to buy.
    Google is also in that group they all would like Apple to be the hardware equivalent Dell, HP, Intel, AMD, Qualcomm or Nvidia. In short a non vertical computer company.
    StrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 15
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,213member
    danox said:
    rob53 said:
    It's amazing that Apple is the only company being forced to open up its system. Meta, Microsoft, Spotify and Epic Games don't make any hardware, they only make software. Without Apple's hardware, or in the case of Microsoft any PC hardware, there wouldn't be any third-party software being developed. Apple makes hardware and software and does a great job of integrating the two. The others are simply leaches, forcing Apple to allow them to use Apple hardware for free. Of course the EU doesn't want to admit they're complicit in forcing a company to allow other companies to use Apple hardware just because they say so. Maybe I should go to an EU country, walk into a store and simply take something without paying for it. That's what the EU is doing--get something for free. As for the hypocritical CEOs of worthless companies like Meta and Microsoft, we all remember that neither company is capable of producing any hardware people actually want to buy.
    Google is also in that group they all would like Apple to be the hardware equivalent Dell, HP, Intel, AMD, Qualcomm or Nvidia. In short a non vertical computer company.
    Agreed, well except for

    Nest Cameras
    Nest Protect fire/smoke/carbon Monoxide detectors
    Nest Hubs
    Nest Wifi
    Nest Thermostats
    Nest Doorbells
    ... none of which Apple themselves offer and vertically integrate.

    Plus products that Apple has their own version of such as
    Google Chromecast (kind of)
    Pixel Buds
    Pixel Watch
    Nest speakers
    Pixel tablet

    And all of the above products vertically integrated.

    But other than that, you are 100% correct, Danox. /s



    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 6 of 15
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 7,667member
    rob53 said:
    It's amazing that Apple is the only company being forced to open up its system. Meta, Microsoft, Spotify and Epic Games don't make any hardware, they only make software. Without Apple's hardware, or in the case of Microsoft any PC hardware, there wouldn't be any third-party software being developed. Apple makes hardware and software and does a great job of integrating the two. The others are simply leaches, forcing Apple to allow them to use Apple hardware for free. Of course the EU doesn't want to admit they're complicit in forcing a company to allow other companies to use Apple hardware just because they say so. Maybe I should go to an EU country, walk into a store and simply take something without paying for it. That's what the EU is doing--get something for free. As for the hypocritical CEOs of worthless companies like Meta and Microsoft, we all remember that neither company is capable of producing any hardware people actually want to buy.
    Apple isn't the only company impacted by the EU directives.

    Without third party apps would you still buy an iPhone? I doubt it.

    While being essential to iPhone survival you are calling them leeches.

    No. The entire platform needs third party apps. The real question is whether Apple has the right to be the sole provider of consumer apps via its App Store. 

    That question has a clear answer in the EU and very possibly, in the short to near term, worldwide. 
    muthuk_vanalingamPauloSeraa
  • Reply 7 of 15
    auxioauxio Posts: 2,727member
    Honestly, as both a consumer and a developer, I have zero interest in 3rd party app stores. I have no doubt that they'll follow the same business model as every other online platform: operate at a loss (charge nothing, minimal ads) for a few years to build up a library of as many apps (and customers) as possible, figure out every possible way to harvest and monetize the information they have about customers, then jack up the fees for listing apps and/or inundate customers with ads once the initial investors take their gains and move on.

    What I do have an interest in is how nearly every app these days is monitoring as much as they can about what I'm doing, even when I'm not using them. I'd love to see the EU (and other governments) force every app, OS, and hardware manufacturer to be upfront about the information they collect, how they collect it, and what they do with it. Then provide clear options for turning it off (all of it). I'm sure Microsoft and Meta would be behind that as well, no?
    muthuk_vanalingamPauloSeraaStrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 15
    avon b7 said:
    The real question is whether Apple has the right to be the sole provider of consumer apps via its App Store. 
    That's not correct. "Consumer apps" is not correct. What you meant to say was, whether Apple has the right to be sole provider of Apple iPhone apps via the Apple App Store. Which of course they do, except in the batshit region of the EU where they think success is a legitimate reason to tear down a company and force them to do things that are in absolutely no one's best interest. The only reason this is even a conversation is because Apple's platform became popular. When things become popular, some people start to believe that they are entitled to them. Never mind the fact that the entire thing is Apple's creation from top to bottom. 
    tmayStrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 15
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 7,667member
    avon b7 said:
    The real question is whether Apple has the right to be the sole provider of consumer apps via its App Store. 
    That's not correct. "Consumer apps" is not correct. What you meant to say was, whether Apple has the right to be sole provider of Apple iPhone apps via the Apple App Store. Which of course they do, except in the batshit region of the EU where they think success is a legitimate reason to tear down a company and force them to do things that are in absolutely no one's best interest. The only reason this is even a conversation is because Apple's platform became popular. When things become popular, some people start to believe that they are entitled to them. Never mind the fact that the entire thing is Apple's creation from top to bottom. 
    'Consumer' apps because businesses already have the possibility to create and deploy apps to their users. 

    Being popular is obviously what got it labeled as a gatekeeper. It's in the numbers but that isn't everything. 

    Take time out to actually read the DMA/DSA. 
    PauloSeraamuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 10 of 15
    Big software companies of course want consumers to "trust THEM" and not leave security and trust details to Apple. They want full control over the device. As a user, I don't want them to have that, because I don't trust them. If they wanted me to trust them, they would tell me exactly what data they are taking from my computer or phone, and they won't do that.

    Security and privacy are so important to me that indeed I would still buy an iPhone if there was no app store. Absolutely. In fact, I would rather have a "Feature Phone" (dumb phone) than an Android phone.
    edited February 21 badmonkwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 15
    What Apple proposed seems fair and simple.  If this is rejected by the EU, the alternative would be to charge for API usage — this would end up being more costly for developers, especially the ones that are complaining now.  The EU could not get in the way of this or dictate costs — unless they go full on China/Russia (which they seem to be resembling more and more).
    PauloSeraawatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 15
    gatorguy said:
    danox said:
    rob53 said:
    It's amazing that Apple is the only company being forced to open up its system. Meta, Microsoft, Spotify and Epic Games don't make any hardware, they only make software. Without Apple's hardware, or in the case of Microsoft any PC hardware, there wouldn't be any third-party software being developed. Apple makes hardware and software and does a great job of integrating the two. The others are simply leaches, forcing Apple to allow them to use Apple hardware for free. Of course the EU doesn't want to admit they're complicit in forcing a company to allow other companies to use Apple hardware just because they say so. Maybe I should go to an EU country, walk into a store and simply take something without paying for it. That's what the EU is doing--get something for free. As for the hypocritical CEOs of worthless companies like Meta and Microsoft, we all remember that neither company is capable of producing any hardware people actually want to buy.
    Google is also in that group they all would like Apple to be the hardware equivalent Dell, HP, Intel, AMD, Qualcomm or Nvidia. In short a non vertical computer company.
    Agreed, well except for

    Nest Cameras
    Nest Protect fire/smoke/carbon Monoxide detectors
    Nest Hubs
    Nest Wifi
    Nest Thermostats
    Nest Doorbells
    ... none of which Apple themselves offer and vertically integrate.

    Plus products that Apple has their own version of such as
    Google Chromecast (kind of)
    Pixel Buds
    Pixel Watch
    Nest speakers
    Pixel tablet

    And all of the above products vertically integrated.

    But other than that, you are 100% correct, Danox. /s
    He is 100% — because he said it’s what Google wants Apple to be; he made no such claim about Google not making hardware on the side of its ad business. 

    Sweet straw man tho, bro!
    williamlondonbadmonkwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 13 of 15
    Microsoft eh? So what’s stopping them from opening up the Xbox platform to rival stores? Why can’t I buy apps & games from anybody I want to load them onto my Xbox? 

    And why can’t I cut out Sony’s Playstation store, which insists on charging me $10/mo for multiplayer support (ex Diablo 4) when it’s free on PC, both of which relay only on Battle.net servers and not Sony’s?

    Where’s the outrage? Where is the EU? Heavens!
    williamlondonbadmonkwatto_cobramuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 14 of 15
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,213member
    gatorguy said:
    danox said:
    rob53 said:
    It's amazing that Apple is the only company being forced to open up its system. Meta, Microsoft, Spotify and Epic Games don't make any hardware, they only make software. Without Apple's hardware, or in the case of Microsoft any PC hardware, there wouldn't be any third-party software being developed. Apple makes hardware and software and does a great job of integrating the two. The others are simply leaches, forcing Apple to allow them to use Apple hardware for free. Of course the EU doesn't want to admit they're complicit in forcing a company to allow other companies to use Apple hardware just because they say so. Maybe I should go to an EU country, walk into a store and simply take something without paying for it. That's what the EU is doing--get something for free. As for the hypocritical CEOs of worthless companies like Meta and Microsoft, we all remember that neither company is capable of producing any hardware people actually want to buy.
    Google is also in that group they all would like Apple to be the hardware equivalent Dell, HP, Intel, AMD, Qualcomm or Nvidia. In short a non vertical computer company.
    Agreed, well except for

    Nest Cameras
    Nest Protect fire/smoke/carbon Monoxide detectors
    Nest Hubs
    Nest Wifi
    Nest Thermostats
    Nest Doorbells
    ... none of which Apple themselves offer and vertically integrate.

    Plus products that Apple has their own version of such as
    Google Chromecast (kind of)
    Pixel Buds
    Pixel Watch
    Nest speakers
    Pixel tablet

    And all of the above products vertically integrated.

    But other than that, you are 100% correct, Danox. /s
    He is 100% — because he said it’s what Google wants Apple to be; he made no such claim about Google not making hardware on the side of its ad business. 

    Sweet straw man tho, bro!
    I went back to read his post again, and I misunderstood him. You're correct that he didn't say Google didn't have a good stack of hardware vertically integrated, but that Google didn't want Apple to have it too.

    That's a claim severely lacking in evidence, so I have no idea how you could reply he was 100% correct unless you have that evidence. You don't do you?
    The best you could claim is he is 100% entitled to his personal opinion. ;)
    I'll agree with that. 
    edited February 21 ctt_zhmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 15 of 15
    gatorguy said:
    gatorguy said:
    danox said:
    rob53 said:
    It's amazing that Apple is the only company being forced to open up its system. Meta, Microsoft, Spotify and Epic Games don't make any hardware, they only make software. Without Apple's hardware, or in the case of Microsoft any PC hardware, there wouldn't be any third-party software being developed. Apple makes hardware and software and does a great job of integrating the two. The others are simply leaches, forcing Apple to allow them to use Apple hardware for free. Of course the EU doesn't want to admit they're complicit in forcing a company to allow other companies to use Apple hardware just because they say so. Maybe I should go to an EU country, walk into a store and simply take something without paying for it. That's what the EU is doing--get something for free. As for the hypocritical CEOs of worthless companies like Meta and Microsoft, we all remember that neither company is capable of producing any hardware people actually want to buy.
    Google is also in that group they all would like Apple to be the hardware equivalent Dell, HP, Intel, AMD, Qualcomm or Nvidia. In short a non vertical computer company.
    Agreed, well except for

    Nest Cameras
    Nest Protect fire/smoke/carbon Monoxide detectors
    Nest Hubs
    Nest Wifi
    Nest Thermostats
    Nest Doorbells
    ... none of which Apple themselves offer and vertically integrate.

    Plus products that Apple has their own version of such as
    Google Chromecast (kind of)
    Pixel Buds
    Pixel Watch
    Nest speakers
    Pixel tablet

    And all of the above products vertically integrated.

    But other than that, you are 100% correct, Danox. /s
    He is 100% — because he said it’s what Google wants Apple to be; he made no such claim about Google not making hardware on the side of its ad business. 

    Sweet straw man tho, bro!
    I went back to read his post again, and I misunderstood him. You're correct that he didn't say Google didn't have a good stack of hardware vertically integrated, but that Google didn't want Apple to have it too.

    That's a claim severely lacking in evidence, so I have no idea how you could reply he was 100% correct unless you have that evidence. You don't do you?
    The best you could claim is he is 100% entitled to his personal opinion. ;)
    I'll agree with that. 
    Yes, the evidence is Google and others keep complaining about Apple being a deeply vertically integrated player and wishing Apple were simply selling commodity hardware and not fighting to keep their extremely valuable & popular walled garden that customers like myself (and my less tech savvy family) love. Whether it’s whining about app stores or blue bubbles, that’s the subtext of their whiny complaints, rather than accept this approach is extremely successful because of the value customers derive. 

    But that understanding and/or respect of users is the difference between a (primarily) consumer company like Apple and a (primarily) advertising company like Google. Google may have bought a hardware brand (founded by ex-Apple folks), but fundamentally its corporate culture doesn’t grok this and likely never will. They make their money catering to advertisers, not consumers. It drives their approach and thinking in most things. 

    It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”

    williamlondonbadmonk13485watto_cobra
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