According to the Digital Markets Act (DMA) recently passed by the European Commission, large technology companies with dominant platforms, known as Gatekeepers, are required to open up their platforms for other services to connect and compete. The latest reports indicate that Apple, one of the technology companies falling under the scope of the DMA, has attempted to argue that its Safari browser does not have the market power as stated.
In the case of Apple, there are three services identified as Gatekeepers: iOS, the App Store, and Safari. This means that Apple must allow external app stores to be used and enable the use of non-WebKit browsing engines beyond March 2024.
Apple’s documentation clarifies that Safari on iOS, Safari on iPadOS, and Safari on macOS are different versions. Therefore, according to the DMA conditions, only Safari on iOS falls within the regulated scope. Apple provides an example by highlighting that the sidebar feature in Safari on iPadOS or macOS is not available on iOS. However, the European Commission contests this information by citing Apple’s own advertising claim for the Continuity feature of Safari, which states “Same Safari. Different device.”
Recently, several major technology companies have argued for platforms that are deemed subject to regulation to be exempted from accessibility requirements. Previously, both Apple and Microsoft have requested the removal of iMessage and Bing from the list.
TLDR: The DMA requires Gatekeeper technology companies to open up their platforms for connectivity and competition. Apple argues that Safari does not have the market power as stated, while the European Commission points to Apple’s own advertisement claims. Companies like Apple and Microsoft have requested exemptions from accessibility requirements in the past.