Earlier this month, we highlighted Apple’s acknowledgment of the inevitability of third-party app stores in Europe, prompted by the adoption of the Digital Markets Act (DMA) across EU countries in May. However, following developments suggested that Apple is taking steps to appeal to the EU regarding the inclusion of the App Store and iMessage in the DMA, and rumors have turned out to be true.
According to Reuters, Apple has officially filed a legal case challenging decisions made by the European Commission under the recently introduced DMA. This information comes from a post shared by the Court of Justice of the European Union on X.
Although specific details of Apple’s legal challenge remain undisclosed, Bloomberg News reported last week that the company would contest the inclusion of its App Store on the list of gatekeepers. In simpler terms, Apple is appealing the ruling that mandates it to allow rival app stores on its iPhone, iPad, and other devices.
In a similar vein, tech giants Meta and TikTok have already filed appeals disputing the Commission’s decision to include their services. Meta’s appeal expresses disagreement with the Commission’s decision to designate its Messenger and Marketplace services under the DMA without challenging the inclusion of Facebook, WhatsApp, or Instagram.
Meanwhile, TikTok argues that its designation poses a risk of solidifying the power of dominant tech companies. The platform, operating in Europe for just over five years, asserts itself as “the most capable challenger to more entrenched platform businesses.”
Under the DMA, the European Commission has the authority to designate digital platforms as ‘gatekeepers’ if they play a crucial role as gateways between businesses and consumers about core platform services. The legislation targets 22 “gatekeeper” services operated by six major tech companies—Microsoft, Apple, Alphabet’s Google, Amazon, Meta, and ByteDance’s TikTok.
The main goal of the legislation is to simplify user movement between competing services. This involves compelling platforms to interoperate their messaging apps with rivals and allowing users to decide which apps to pre-install on their devices.