Apple accused of breaking EU competition rules

The European Commission has said that Apple is stifling competition on its App Store, in breach of European Union laws designed to protect smaller competitors.

Preliminary findings suggest that the iPhone maker’s App Store rules prevent app developers from freely steering consumers to alternative channels for offers and content.

Under the EU’s Digital Markets Act, developers distributing their apps via Apple’s App Store should be able, free of charge, to inform their customers of alternative cheaper purchasing possibilities, steer them to those offers and allow them to make purchases.

Apple now has a chance to respond to the findings, and the Commission will make a final decision on its compliance by March 2025. The company could face fines worth up to 10% of its worldwide revenue.

Additionally, the Commission has opened a further investigation into Apple relating to concerns over new contractual terms including a ‘core technology fee’ for app developers.

“The developers’ community and consumers are eager to offer alternatives to the App Store,” said Margrethe Vestager, executive vice-president in charge of competition policy. “We will investigate to ensure Apple does not undermine these efforts.”