Apple Fined at the 11th Hour Before the DMA Enters into Force

Just days before the EU’s Digital Markets Act (DMA) was set to enter into force, the European Commission hit Apple—one of the six designated “gatekeepers” to which the new law will apply—with a hefty €1.8 billion fine for the kinds of anti-steering provisions that will be banned by the DMA, which enters into force on 6 March. 

The timing of the fine, and its seemingly arbitrary amount, are both curious. Announced as being the result of a four-year investigation, the decision amounts to an exclusionary-abuse turned exploitative-conduct case, and is underpinned by a flimsy theory of harm in a market that has seen exponential growth over the past decade. The fact that the Commission fined Apple for conduct that would be banned per se just two days later raises questions as to why the DMA was necessary and whether the Commission has faith in the new law’s effectiveness.

Read the full piece here.