It has been nearly five years since Spotify first raised concerns with the European Commission about Apple’s dominance in the mobile app market. As the leading music streaming service, Spotify felt it was unacceptable to stand by as Apple exploited its position as the sole gateway to iOS devices. They urged regulators to curb Apple’s ability to manipulate rules in its favor and stifle outside competition.

Finally, momentum seemed to be building as the landmark Digital Markets Act (DMA) was passed into law earlier this year. The new rules appeared poised to rein in Big Tech gatekeepers and give alternative options more breathing room. Spotify was hopeful real change was coming that would benefit consumers and app developers alike.

However, Apple’s recent response has dashed those hopes and revealed its unchanged attitude of arrogance. In a self-professed show of “compliance”, Apple unveiled proposals that are anything but. A thinly veiled attempt to skirt the spirit of the DMA, the new terms proposed would essentially maintain the status quo that has disadvantaged outsiders for so long.

Chief among the concerning proposals is a new annual “core technology fee” of €0.50 charged for every download or update of an app. For free and smaller apps, this could mean millions owed to Apple for modest user bases attained organically. It’s a blatant cash grab that inhibits growth. Spotify would also still owe Apple commissions even if users complete purchases outside the App Store.

While alternative app stores are dangled as an option, the hard numbers tell a different story. For Spotify’s 100 million EU users, maintenance fees could balloon costs tenfold – an untenable outcome regardless of distribution method. Apple leaves no real alternative at all.

Lucas Jackson / Reuters

Developers plugging Apple’s new rules into calculators confirm their suspicions: nothing has changed. Apple maintains its stranglehold and seems confident of riding roughshod over regulator efforts. The onus is now on the European Commission to demonstrate the DMA is more than words – to reject Apple’s disregard and finally reset the power imbalance as intended. Otherwise, true consumer choice remains but a hollow concept. The future remains uncertain as regulators must determine if the goals so many fought for will see fruition or fall victim to an unreformed gatekeeper’s defiance.

Apple Takes the Baton: Tech Giant Acquires Swedish Classical Label BIS Records. Read Here

1 thought on “Is the DMA Toothless? Apple Response Reignites Debate Over Tech Giant Power!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *