WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rick VanMeter, Executive Director of the Coalition for App Fairness (CAF) released the following statement after it was reported that Apple is preparing to allow third party app stores on iOS devices in the European Union, just one of the obligations that it will have to comply with following the adoption of the Digital Markets Act (DMA).
“Today’s leak from Apple is an admission that they have a chokehold on competition and that their prior claims about the risks of third-party app stores are bogus.
“It is clear that Apple will only yield their control over the distribution of apps on iOS devices, and their exertion of gatekeeper power within the App Store, in response to pressure from policymakers. The European Union’s passage of the Digital Markets Act is forcing Apple’s hand, and strong enforcement of the law is vital to leveling the playing field for developers in the mobile application ecosystem. We await action on the other critical provisions of this law including prohibiting gatekeeper companies from preferencing their own products, prohibiting the tying of payment services, prohibiting restrictions on communications between developers and their customers, and requiring their APIs be made available on fair, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory terms.
“In the United States, Congress should take note of this development, which exposes Apple’s arguments on privacy and security as flimsy, hollow excuses to avoid competition. It’s time for Congress to immediately pass the Open App Markets Act (OAMA) as part of the omnibus package to protect American consumers and businesses from the anti-competitive practices of mobile app store operators. Until OAMA passes, American developers and consumers will continue to suffer while those in foreign jurisdictions will benefit.
“This development does not mean that Apple has reformed its anti-competitive ways. Time and again Apple has made limited adjustments to adhere to laws in jurisdictions around the world, only to turn around and violate them shamelessly. It is doubtful that this sudden policy change will foster competition in the mobile app marketplace. Instead, we should expect Apple to continue wielding their market power to obstruct competition and protect their bottom line unless policy makers and regulators act.”
About the Coalition for App Fairness
The Coalition for App Fairness is an independent nonprofit organization formed to protect consumer choice, foster competition, and create a level playing field for all app and game developers globally. Originally formed by Basecamp, Blix, Blockchain.com, Deezer, Epic Games, the European Publishers Council, Match Group, News Media Europe, Prepear, Proton, Skydemon, Spotify, and Tile, CAF has rapidly grown from 13 to over 70 members since launching in September 2020. CAF offers membership to companies of any size — join today at appfairness.org.
December 13, 2022