April 17, 2024
Coalition for App Fairness Calls Apple's Plan to Comply With DMA a 'Shameless Insult'

Coalition for App Fairness Calls Apple's Plan to Comply With DMA a 'Shameless Insult'

Posted January 26, 2024 at 5:52pm by iClarified
The Coalition for App Fairness has issued a statement condemning Apple's plan to comply with the EU's Digital Markets App as a 'shameless insult'.

Apple's announced compliance plan appears to be designed to technically adhere to the new regulations while simultaneously making it difficult and costly for developers to step outside the existing App Store system. It does not allow users to sideload apps and maintains the company's complete control over what apps are permitted to run on your device.

Here's the statement from the CAF:

"Apple clearly has no intention to comply with the DMA. Apple is introducing new fees on direct downloads and payments they do nothing to process, which violates the law. This plan does not achieve the DMA's goal to increase competition and fairness in the digital market – it is not fair, reasonable, nor non-discriminatory," said Rick VanMeter, Executive Director of the Coalition for App Fairness. "Apple's proposal forces developers to choose between two anticompetitive and illegal options. Either stick with the terrible status quo or opt into a new convoluted set of terms that are bad for developers and consumers alike. This is yet another attempt to circumvent regulation, the likes of which we've seen in the United States, the Netherlands and South Korea. Apple's 'plan' is a shameless insult to the European Commission and the millions of European consumers they represent – it must not stand and should be rejected by the Commission."

Notably, Epic CEO Tim Sweeney has also issued a statement on the plan, calling it 'malicious compliance'.

Apple's plan to thwart Europe's new Digital Markets Act law is a devious new instance of Malicious Compliance. They are forcing developers to choose between App Store exclusivity and the store terms, which will be illegal under DMA, or accept a new also-illegal anticompetitive scheme rife with new Junk Fees on downloads and new Apple taxes on payments they don't process.

Apple proposes that it can choose which stores are allowed to compete with their App Store. They could block Epic from launching the Epic Games Store and distributing Fortnite through it, for example, or block Microsoft, Valve, Good Old Games, or new entrants. The Epic Games Store is the #7 software store in the world (behind the 3 console stores, 2 mobile stores, and Steam on PC). We're determined to launch on iOS and Android and enter the competition to become the #1 multi-platform software store, on the foundation of payment competition, 0%-12% fees, and exclusive games like Fortnite.

Epic has always supported the notion of Apple notarization and malware scanning for apps, but we strongly reject Apple's twisting this process to undermine competition and continue imposing Apple taxes on transactions they're not involved in. There's a lot more hot garbage in Apple's announcement. It will take more time to parse both the written and unwritten parts of this new horror show, so stay tuned.

We've yet to hear an official statement from the EU on Apple's plan, but it will likely be subject to review before the DMA goes into full force in March.

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Coalition for App Fairness Calls Apple's Plan to Comply With DMA a 'Shameless Insult'
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