Media group, EPC urge EU to curb Apple's Big Tech

Media group, EPC urge EU to curb Apple's Big Tech

BRUSSELS Reuters - Norwegian media group Schibsted and the European Publishers Council have urged European antitrust regulators to make sure that tech rules coming into play this year will rein in Apple's powers, especially over its App Store.

The publishers' lobbying group, Schibsted, and the EU's Digital Markets Act DMA take effect in May, targeting Big Tech, according to the comments from Schibsted, the largest media group in the Scandinavia region.

Apple is already in the EU antitrust crosshairs due to its App Store practices in music streaming, e-books and competing apps, as well as its mobile payment system, Apple Pay.

According to Petra Wikstrom, director of public policy at Schibsted, said Apple's App Store practices affect Schibsted because of its market power in Scandinavia, where up to 60% of consumers have an iPhone in Norway and Sweden.

She told Reuters in an interview that Apple's policies, such as imposing high fees, taking control of the entire customer relationship, and withholding important user information under the guise of privacy and security, hamper our transition to a subscription-based business model.

Wikstrom said that it is important to have the DMA implemented and enforced to put an end to such abusive practices in the digital space.

Similar concerns were expressed by the EPC, whose members include chairmen and chief executives from Axel Springer, News UK, Conde Nast, The New York Times and The Guardian.

Yes, the EPC has the same position and concerns that we have raised directly with the commission. EPC Executive Director Angela Mills Wade said that the DMA is very clear in its obligations and that they expect them to be enforced.

The commission did not respond to a request for comment. Apple, which would have to loosen its App Store rules under the DMA, could not be reached for comment.

The company previously said that 85% of developers on the App Store don't pay any commission and only 30% of apps with more than $1 million in annual revenue pay 30%.

In 2021, in order to address Japanese antitrust concerns, the ban on separate links on App Store apps was lifted, which removed the ban on providing separate links for reader apps that provide content such as e-books, video and music.