EU Commission designates iPadOS as Gatekeeper


In a surprising twist of fates, the European Union Commission placed iPadOS as a gatekeeper under the Digital Markets Act (DMA). Following an eight-month investigation, the EU Commission concluded that iPadOS is on three key premises. (Source).

iPadOS is Now Recognized as a Gatekeeper; Will need to comply with DMA Rules

This happens because Apple is working and leveraging its ecosystem to disincentivize users from switching to other Operating Systems and Devices. In other words, the company is trying to lock users to iPadOS. A similar case is made for business users who are locked into the platform due to its “large and commercially attractive user base”.

iPadOS

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The EU Commission also concludes that iPadOS’s business users exceed the threshold for a gatekeeper platform “by eleventh times”. The commercial users, on the other hand, are close to the threshold and expected to grow soon. Currently, the EU designates gatekeepers as a platform with over 45 million monthly active users and 10,000 annual business users in the EU.

iPadOS joins iOS as a gatekeeper platform and will need to comply with the EU rules. The rules include the ability to download third-party apps outside the App Store. Users should also be able to select third-party default browsers and uninstall preloaded apps. With iPadOS, Apple will have six months to comply with the DMA. If the company fails to comply in due time, it will see a 10% fine on its global revenue. Repeated violations will raise the fine to 20% of global revenues.

Apple currently is having certain “issues” in complying with the new EU rules. Recently, the company blocked Spotify’s app update on the App Store. Spotify tried to redirect users to its website to subscribe to one of its paid plans. This way, it would be able to bypass the 30% commission set by Apple. However, the Cupertino-based giant blocked the update. Spotify went against Apple for violating the EU Commission rules, and the case is yet to be evaluated.

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