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Spotify, Epic complain again that Apple won't be in compliance with the DMA

European Union flags

Spotify, Epic, Proton, and dozens of others have signed a letter to the European Commission, demanding the agency look into Apple's lack of compliance with the Digital Markets Act.

On March 1, 34 companies and associations penned an open letter to the European Commission. The letter addresses concerns over Apple's alleged non-compliance with the Digital Markets Act (DMA), which is set to go into effect on March 7.

The signatories take issue with how Apple requires developers to stay within the current App Store ecosystem or opt into new terms. They suggest that this is a "false choice" and adds unnecessary complexity to what should be a simple choice.

They also believe the new fee structure is designed to maintain and "amplify Apple's exploitation of its dominance over app developers." They argue that the transaction fee and Core Technology Fee are intended to dissuade developers from opting for alternatives to the App Store.

The signatories also believe that Apple's plans to use controls and disclosures — what they call "scare screens" — will "mislead and degrade the user experience." They argue that this will deprive users of actual choice and the ability to reap any benefits offered under the DMA.

"The European Commission's response to Apple's proposal will serve as a litmus test of the DMA and whether it can deliver for Europe's citizens and economy," the letter reads.

The letter urges the European Commission to take swift, timely, and decisive action against Apple — preferably as soon as March 7.

"This is the only way to guarantee the DMA remains both credible and delivers competitive digital markets," the group says.

Some of the signatories include

  • Spotify
  • Epic Games
  • Proton
  • Deezer
  • Threema
  • European Publisher's Council
  • European Games Developer Federation
  • European Fintech Association
  • News Media Europe
  • France Digitale

On Friday, Apple published a whitepaper detailing how it says it is working to protect EU users and emphasizing the risks of opening up the iPhone to rival App Stores. And, hours later, they said that progressive web apps would work as expected in the EU, after a month of intentionally crippling them in the iOS 17.4 betas.

The company also cited a bevy of emails where users have argued that they do not wish to see sideloading and third-party app marketplace on the iPhone.