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Apple Challenges Classification of App Store as a Single 'Platform' in Response to EU Antitrust Concerns

In the ongoing regulatory landscape of Europe, Apple has presented a novel argument regarding its App Store, asserting that it should not be classified as a single 'platform.' This move is part of the company's strategy to address antitrust concerns raised by the European Union's Digital Markets Act (DMA). Apple contends that its App Store comprises five distinct app stores, each tailored for specific Apple devices such as iPhones, iPads, Mac computers, Apple TVs, and Apple Watches. The intention is to position these app stores as separate entities, potentially excluding some from the regulatory scope of the DMA.

As Apple endeavors to comply with the DMA's mandate to introduce competition into the iPhone app market, its argument challenges the notion of the App Store as a singular 'platform.' However, regulators may scrutinize this attempt to make fine distinctions, especially if perceived as a strategy to circumvent the essence of antitrust regulations. The sheer size and influence of the iPhone App Store alone could still qualify it as a platform under the DMA, irrespective of Apple's differentiation strategy.

This nuanced approach is part of a broader initiative by Apple to present multiple arguments against specific aspects of the DMA. For instance, the company contends that iMessage should be excluded from DMA regulation due to it not being a fee-based service and lacking monetization through hardware sales or personal data processing. These precautionary arguments highlight Apple's efforts to shape the interpretation of the DMA regulations as the compliance deadline looms.

As the tech giant navigates the intricate interplay between regulatory requirements and corporate strategy, the outcome will not only impact Apple but also shape the landscape of app distribution and competition within the European market. With the compliance deadline approaching, the response of regulators to Apple's arguments will significantly influence the trajectory of antitrust regulations in the region.

Apple App Store logo on a white background

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