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The European Union (EU) Intensifies Probe into Apple’s Alleged Blocking of Web Application Access, Exploring Antitrust Concerns

The European Union is escalating its examination of Apple following the company’s announcement to restrict access to certain web-based applications, marking a significant move towards a formal investigation.

As per a report by The Financial Times, This inquiry focuses on Apple’s decision to limit the use of progressive web apps (PWAs) in the EU—a move that bypasses the tech giant’s official App Store.

Developers were surveyed last week by the EU’s competition regulators to assess the impact of Apple’s decision, indicating the preliminary stages of a comprehensive investigation.

Impact on Developers and EU’s Response

Impact on Developers and EU's Response

Apple’s forthcoming policy to disable PWAs within the EU is aimed at aligning with the Digital Markets Act (DMA).

The company argues that this measure is necessary to protect users from security and privacy risks that could arise when using browsers other than its Safari.

However, this decision is also viewed as an attempt to prevent developers from circumventing the App Store’s 30% commission on purchases.

The European Commission has acknowledged its efforts to review the compliance of all “gatekeepers,” including Apple, especially concerning PWAs, highlighting a broader scrutiny under the DMA’s framework.

Apple’s Position and Broader Implications

Contentious Implementation by Apple

Despite Apple’s rationale that its decision will impact only a minority and is regrettable for developers and users alike, the move has drawn criticism for potentially stifling competition and innovation.

This controversy comes as the EU prepares to impose significant fines on Apple for separate violations related to its music streaming services, underlining the intensifying regulatory challenges the company faces.

Apple has made concessions, like allowing alternative app downloading sources and payment systems, yet critics argue these changes come with prohibitive fees that deter competition.

The EU’s firm stance, with potential fines up to 20% of annual turnover for repeat offenses, signals a tough road ahead for tech giants aiming to navigate the DMA’s regulations.

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