New EU provision prevents Apple from controlling access to hardware and software features

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The European Union’s (EU) Digital Markets Act (DMA) now includes terms that would require “gatekeepers” like Apple to give developers access to everything hardware and software features of their devices — reports MacRumors.

The new provision follows EU charges against Apple earlier this month for blocking Apple Pay competitors from accessing Near Field Communication (NFC) technology that enables contactless payments on its devices. .

New additions to the legislation also state that every company subject to it must establish an independent “compliance function”.

This internal department will be made up of compliance officers who will be responsible for monitoring and ensuring their company’s compliance with EU laws and will be directed. The group should be led by an “independent senior executive with separate responsibility for the compliance function”.

DMA is set to bring unprecedented changes to how Apple, its devices, and its services work, at least in the EU.

Regulatory requirements currently outlined in the DMA would require Apple to allow users to download apps and install third-party app stores on its platforms.

For developers, the legislation would mean the freedom to use third-party payment systems on the App Store, the ability to direct users to purchases outside of the App Store, and better access to Apple’s own services and to data collected by the tech giant.

A more recent DMA provision would also require Apple and other big tech companies, like Facebook’s parent company Meta, to make communications services such as instant messaging and voice/video calling interoperable across platforms.

DMA is largely focused on tearing down the walls and barriers that big tech companies have erected around their ecosystems, wherever they are.

EU governments reached a tentative agreement on DMA earlier this week, with 43 votes in favour, one against and one abstention, demonstrating just how keen the EU is to push Big Tech regulation forward. Given the regulatory pressure and scrutiny Apple is currently facing around the world, other governments share the sentiments of the EU.

The proposals included in the DMA will go to a final vote in the European Parliament in July. If adopted, the DMA will be formally adopted by the European Council and published in the Official Journal of the EU. The DMA will come into effect 20 days after its publication and companies subject to it will have six months to comply.

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