Affiliate Disclosure
If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Read our ethics policy.

Apple protests criticism that it's not complying with EU laws

Apple claims that it is in compliance with EU DMA

Last updated

Apple has told an official hearing of the European Commission that it has fully complied with the new Digital Markets Act, despite complaints from rivals.

Now that the Digital Markets Act is fully in force in the European Union, EU regulators have the power to investigate compliance and, if necessary, fine Big Tech companies who are in breach of the new laws. In a hearing at the European Commission, Apple has been putting its position and refuting criticisms from rivals.

According to Reuters, the European Commission's hearing was a day-long event that featured Apple alongside rivals as well as app developers and business users. Apple's lawyer Kyle Andeer told the EC hearing that the company had redesigned its systems specifically to comply with the Digital Markets Act.

"We were guided first and foremost by ensuring that we've complied with the law," Andeer told the hearing. "And then second, that we did it in a way that was consistent with our values and consistent with the language that we've developed with our users over a very long period of time."

"And we think we've accomplished that," he continued. "I think we're focused on it from a user perspective."

"Now, it's not to say that we're not focused on the impact of developers, but I think from our perspective first and foremost," said Andeer, "we'll be tracking very carefully what's the impact of all of these different changes on the user experience that we've delivered to our customers for 15, 16 years through the iPhone?"

The DMA was created to regulate Big Tech firms, not just Apple. This hearing regarding Apple will be followed by daily separate ones for Meta, Amazon, Alphabet, ByteDance, and concluding with Microsoft on Tuesday March 26.

Apple has previously claimed that it worked closely with the EU throughout its development of new rules for rivals. It has nonetheless also updated its rules following recent developer concern.

It's also reversed its position on Epic Games. After Epic Games failed to convince Apple that it wouldn't break its contract again, Apple refused the games firm a developer license.

There was then a direct question from the EU over this decision, plus a DMA architect calling Apple's move "weird," and saying it seemed to want to be fined. This was followed very quickly by Apple reinstating Epic Games as a developer in Europe.

What happens next

The EU has not published a specific schedule beyond dates for hearings regarding each of the Big Tech firms that its DMA law covers. Regardless of whether these hearings lead to specific action, the EU is bound to continually monitor Apple and the others.

It is also bound to respond to complaints, and it seems inevitable that rivals such as Spotify wlll continue calling for Apple to be re-investigated. This is therefore just the earliest of days in which Apple will be in court over EU complance.