Leaked EU document could mean major changes for App Store, Messages, FaceTime, browsers and Siri

A leaked version of the EU Digital Markets Act (DMA) indicates that Apple may be forced to make major changes to the App Store, Messages, FaceTime, third-party browsers and Siri.

the European Parliament
According to a leaked working document that should reflect the “final” version of DMA, seen by MacRygterThe EU plans to adopt changes that seek to have a significant impact on the way companies such as Apple will have to manage their products, apps and services in Europe, in particular with regard to “gatekeeping”.

Earlier versions of the Digital Markets Act require large technology companies to share metrics with competitors, ensuring that all apps can be uninstalled and not preferring their own apps and services. Companies that fail to do so can risk large fines, up to ten percent of the company’s worldwide annual turnover, or even forced disinvestment.

One of the headlines in DMA is trying to cause major changes in the ‌App Store‌, forcing Apple to allow users to download apps from the Internet and third-party app stores and allow developers to use payment systems in the app of their choice and promote offers to users. Changes to DMA outlined in the leaked document are intended to address browser engine gatekeeping and platform interoperability.

The document extends the provisions to prevent companies from requiring developers to use a particular browser engine. This change is likely to directly address Apple’s requirement that all browsers running on iOS and iPadOS that use their own WebKit technology and will allow third-party browsers such as Chrome, Edge, Brave, and Opera to stop using WebKit and switch to Chromium such as. their desktop counterparts.

New far-reaching interoperability obligations will require companies to ensure that their messaging, voice and video calling apps and services work with competing services under certain circumstances and include end-to-end encryption. This may have implications for iMessage and ‌FaceTime‌, but it’s not clear how far Apple will have to make changes to its services to meet DMA’s interoperability requirements.

The DMA has also been modified to add provisions for regulating virtual assistants such as ‌Siri‌, which state that users should be able to change the default virtual assistant to a third-party option when using it for the first time. Other changes in DMA relate to preventing companies from giving preference to their own apps and services, such as when they present rankings or search results.

EU lawmakers provisionally approved the DMA in March. Once the final document has been officially published, the European Parliament and the Council must approve it before it can enter into force. Digital Competition Director Margrethe Vestager said last month that she expects the DMA to take effect “sometime in October.”

Earlier this week, MEPs voted overwhelmingly in favor of legislation that would force Apple to offer a USB-C port on all iPhones, iPads and AirPods in Europe.