Apple’s Not-So-Warm Embrace: Complying with EU’s DMA with a Side of Malicious Compliance

Facing the music of EU’s new laws, Apple’s opened its playground – but with a twist. Want to compete with the App Store? Sure, but it’s like juggling flaming swords… while blindfolded… on a unicycle. Critics cry foul, but Apple’s playing by rules – just with their own rulebook. Cue the eye-rolling!

Hot Take:

Apple’s got a new game called ‘Comply But Defy,’ and it’s about as fun as a mandatory software update on a Friday night. They’ve taken the EU’s shiny new Digital Markets Act, wrapped it in red tape, and served it with a side of “good luck with that” to any would-be app store competitors. It’s a masterclass in giving with one hand while setting up a toll booth with the other. Let’s just say, the reception from the ‘we want a piece of the Apple pie’ coalition has been frostier than an iPhone left outside in a Scandinavian winter.

Key Points:

  • The EU’s Digital Markets Act aims to reduce the dominance of tech giants by allowing alternative app stores.
  • Apple’s complying with a heavy sigh, setting up high barriers for rivals, like ensuring a €1 million credit line and a “Core Technology Fee”.
  • Competitors must adhere to Apple’s security requirements and EU’s alphabet soup of regulations.
  • Critics are as salty as unsalted butter, calling Apple’s move “malicious compliance” and “bad faith.”
  • The European Commission’s response to Apple’s plan is as stoic as a Buckingham Palace guard – noted but not endorsed.

Need to know more?

Apple's Labyrinth of Compliance

Apple's response to the EU's demand for competition is sort of like opening a club but telling potential members they'll need to swim across a moat filled with piranhas. Sure, you can compete, but you'll be so tangled up in notary requirements and financial proofs that you'll resemble a bureaucratic mummy. And should your app somehow become popular, Apple's Core Technology Fee will pop up like an unwelcome in-app ad reminding you that nothing's really free.

Money Trees and Fee Forests

In Apple's enchanted forest, money doesn't grow on trees, but fees seem to sprout like mushrooms after rain. With charges for individual app downloads after the millionth mark, Apple ensures its garden remains well-fertilized. If you're a small dev, you might find yourself wondering whether it's better to stick with the Apple tax or venture into the wildlands of sideloading fees. Choose your own adventure, but beware of the hidden traps!

The Sound of Criticism

Apple's announcement landed with the grace of a lead balloon in the world of critics and competitors. Epic Games' Tim Sweeney, a vocal opponent who's no stranger to legal tussles with Apple, tossed around words like "devious" and "malicious compliance" with the glee of a kid in a ball pit. The Coalition for App Fairness, a group that clearly isn't planning to knit Apple a friendship bracelet anytime soon, echoed the sentiment, urging the EU to put Apple on the naughty step.

Fortnite's Epic Return

Despite all the huffing and puffing, Epic Games is planning to bring Fortnite back to iOS, with its own store set to launch in 2024. They've promised to keep wrestling Apple in the legal and regulatory ring, but it's a bit like watching a soap opera where the rich frenemies can't stay away from each other. Drama, drama, drama!

EU's Silent Movie

Over at the European Commission, the response to Apple's new rules is reminiscent of the stoic protagonist in a silent film – plenty of meaningful glances but no dialogue. They've acknowledged Apple's moves without so much as a thumbs up or down, encouraging conversations with third parties as if to say, "Talk amongst yourselves; we'll just be here watching." As for high-profile EU figures and other big tech players, they're as quiet as a group chat after someone drops a controversial meme. Will they speak up? Stay tuned.

Tags: app store competition, apple compliance, Digital Markets Act, digital services act, european commission, platform gatekeepers, Tech regulations