Will Apple open up its ecosystem for its competitors in the EU?

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Will Apple open up its ecosystem for its competitors in the EU?
Over the past few weeks, Apple's been dealing with a mix of challenges in Europe. First, the iPhone 12 got the boot from the French market due to radiation levels exceeding the EU safety limits. On top of that, Apple Store workers in France went on strike on the day of the iPhone 15 release in stores. But the tech giant's got more on its plate.

According to Reuters, European Commissioner Thierry Breton had a chat with Tim Cook, Apple's CEO, in Brussels. Breton's message? He wants Apple to throw open its doors to competitors. He said, "The next job for Apple and other Big Tech, under the DMA (Digital Markets Act), is to open up its gates to competitors."

The newly adopted DMA lays down rules for Apple and other tech giants to follow, all in the name of fostering fair competition. The EU put the DMA into law back in November 2022, and it kicked in officially in May 2023, although it's still a work in progress.

EU vision? The idea is for Apple to give its users the freedom to download apps from other stores, not just Apple's. "Be it the electronic wallet, browsers or app stores, consumers using an Apple iPhone should be able to benefit from competitive services by a range of providers." the EU official said and added that “EU regulation fosters innovation, without compromising on security and privacy."

Apple stated (and not only once) its concerns about privacy and security risks it sees in the DMA, and the company is actually not alone in its concerns. The European Commission tagged Apple, along with Meta, Google, Amazon, and Microsoft, as "gatekeepers" of online services.

As for Apple's response, it has been tight-lipped. Tim Cook's trip to Brussels wasn't announced, and he hasn't mentioned his sit-down with the EU Commissioner. However, he did tweet (via Apple Insider) about meeting Apple Store staff in the city. 

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Whether he also met with representatives of the unions behind the strikes in neighboring France or not is unclear.

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