The European Union says iPadOS is a ‘gatekeeper’ so must meet DMA requirements

Apple will bring recent iOS changes for apps to iPadOS this fall to comply with the DMA.

Apple’s battles with the European Union continue. The EU’s regulatory group, the European Commission, has designated Apples iPadOS as a “gatekeeper” under the Digital Markets Act (“DMA”). Apple now has six months to ensure full compliance of iPadOS with the DMA obligations.

On September 5, 2023, the Commission iOS, Safari, and the App Store as gatekeepers. Now the agency says that iPadOS joins the group because:

° Apple’s business user numbers exceeded the quantitative threshold elevenfold, while its end user numbers were close to the threshold and are predicted to rise in the near future.

° End users are locked-in to iPadOS. Apple leverages its large ecosystem to disincentivise end users from switching to other operating systems for tablets.

° Business users are locked-in to iPadOS because of its large and commercially attractive user base, and its importance for certain use cases, such as gaming apps.

To be classified as a “gatekeeper” under the DMA, a company must fulfill certain criteria, including having sales across the EU of at least €7.5 billion, or a market capitalization of €75 billion or above. The designation also requires platforms or services to have more than 45 million monthly active users and over 10,000 active business users annually within the EU.

Companies that don’t comply to the regulations face fines, and the imposition of “behavioral or structural remedies.” The fines can amount to 10% of a company’s global revenue, with a 20% penalty for repeat violations.

The EU is a political and economic union of 28 member states that are located primarily in Europe. Its policies aim “to ensure the free movement of people, goods, services, and capital within the internal market, enact legislation in justice and home affairs, and maintain common policies on trade, agriculture, fisheries, and regional development.”

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.