Digital Markets Act will make Apple less exclusive

The new legislation obligates big tech companies to allow app developers and third-party service providers access to device functionalities and proprietary software

EU legislation

Source:  shutterstock.com

The European Parliament has adopted the Digital Markets Act (DMA) aimed at fairer competition in the tech market. The new legislation creates a single set of rules applicable across the EU. It obligates Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft and other “gatekeeper” tech companies to allow app developers and third-party service providers access to device functionalities and proprietary software. 

The DMA aims to ensure a level playing field for all digital companies. In particular, big platforms will face new requirements:

  • not rank their own services and products higher than similar third-party services or products
  • give users the possibility to uninstall any pre-installed software or app
  • allow third parties to interoperate with their services (exchange messages or files across messaging apps)
  • provide app developers and third-party service providers with access to device functionalities such as NFC, secure elements and processors, authentication mechanisms and related software 
  • allow business users to access the customer data they generate in the gatekeeper’s platform, to promote their offers and contracts outside the big platforms
  • allow users easily acquire content, subscriptions, features or apps from other app stores
  • not process users’ data combined from different sources for targeted advertising unless they explicitly grant consent
  • report to the Commission on all digital-sector-related and data-related M&A transactions

The new rules will apply only to the most prominent market players, aka “gatekeepers”, appointed by the European Commission. Companies that do not comply with the legal requirements could face fines of up to 10% of their worldwide turnover in the preceding financial year (up to 20% if repeated). 

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