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EU antitrust chief ready to get on Apple's case about fees and safety warnings

Apple's compliance with the DMA may not satisfy regulators

The Digital Markets Act forced companies like Apple to open up opportunities for more competition, but the legislation has resulted in new problems with monetization and security concerns.

Apple's problems with the Digital Markets Act have only just begun as regulators scrutinize every inch of the company's compliance efforts. It seems there may be some concern that Apple is trying to drive developers away from the new contract options.

An interview conducted by Reuters with the EU's antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager revealed that key portions of company's compliance with the DMA will be under investigation. Apple specifically may be causing problems with its fees and security warnings.

"There are things that we take a keen interest in, for instance, if the new Apple fee structure will de facto not make it in any way attractive to use the benefits of the DMA," Vestager said in the interview. "That kind of thing is what we will be investigating."

The fee structure in question is Apple's Core Technology Fee, which requires developers with over 1 million app downloads to pay half a euro for each new download annually. The structure has caused worry amongst developers that build free apps, which could be financially ruined by such a fee.

Vestager also isn't happy with how Apple might be discouraging users from engaging with external app marketplaces. Warnings tell users about security risks associated with using apps outside the App Store.

"I would think of it as unwise to say that the services are not safe to use, because that has nothing to do with the DMA," Vestager said about the warnings. "The DMA is there to open the market for other service providers to get to you and how your service provider of your operating system, how they will make sure that it is safe is for them to decide."

Developer feedback is also helping the EU antitrust chief decide what to investigate. There has apparently been plenty of feedback beyond the high-profile complaints from companies like Spotify and Epic.