European Union’s Digital Markets Act Could Overthrow Apple and Bring ‘Sheriff’ to Silicon Valley

Sources say the European Union’s Digital Markets Act, which comes into force today, seeks to reshape the internet, especially for tech giants such as Apple, Meta and Google.

The new Digital Markets Act aims to make tech giants more open and “interoperable” by 2023. Additionally, this new law also brings a new sheriff to Silicon Valley.

EU Digital Markets Act Forces Apple to Make Major Changes

Coming into force today, November 1, the Digital Markets Act will begin to see enforcement on May 3, 2023. According to WiredGerard de Graaf, who helped pass the DMA, sets up a European office in San Francisco to help Big Tech better understand the new laws.

According to the report, de Graaf said, “We expect the consequences to be significant.” He further clarified, “If you have an iPhone, you should be able to download apps not only from the App Store, but also from other app stores or from the Internet.”

Wired provided some examples of what users can expect from the new DMA, such as the fact that Meta may be needed to allow WhatsApp to receive messages from smaller messaging apps. However, this news also spells big trouble for Apple.

As Arnold Zafra explained in May, the new DMA will likely label Apple and other tech giants as “gatekeepers.” In addition to Apple eventually having to make iMessages interoperable across apps, Apple will also have to allow developers “to freely interact with Apple services, use third-party payment systems, and access data Apple has collected from of its users”.

Other Complications

This means that Apple will have to allow both third-party App Stores, as well as allow users to “sideload” apps. It also means developers won’t be able to give their own apps preference when it comes to advertising. AppleInsider notes that this includes Apple highlighting its own services in its App Store.

According AppleInsider, a “gatekeeper” “must provide browsers, messaging services or social media and have at least 45 million monthly end users in the EU”. Additionally, these companies must also have a market capitalization of at least $82 billion, or “an annual turnover of 7.5 billion euros ($8.2 billion).

Although companies that obtain the guardian label will have to comply with the new law, the EU is still trying to determine which tech giants fall into this new category. According Wired, de Graaf expects “a dozen” companies to make the list. The full list is expected to be released in the spring. Companies considered gatekeepers will then have six months to come into compliance.

According to de Graaf, he expects a flurry of lawsuits challenging the new laws.

While this probably won’t impact Apple, in addition to DMA, the EU is also implementing the Digital Services Act. According Wired, this requires “risk assessments of certain algorithms and information on automated decision-making”. Additionally, it may also require social media applications to allow outside scrutiny of its data. According to the source, the DSA will arrive just like the DMA, which is in stages. Large companies can expect to comply by 2024.

What do you think of the new DMA laws? Let us know in the comments.