Xbox President Sarah Bond Joins Growing Criticism Against Apple’s EU App Store Plan | Sarah Bond, President of Xbox at Microsoft, has joined the chorus of voices opposing Apple’s proposed plan for complying with the European Union’s Digital Markets Act (DMA). The DMA, passed in 2023, aims to reduce the dominance of major tech companies by mandating the opening of their platforms to foster fair competition.
Apple’s Proposed Plan Draws Criticism
Apple’s proposal, revealed on January 25, is facing backlash from several companies, including Spotify and Epic Games. Bond adds her voice to the critique, labeling Apple’s approach as a setback for open platforms and fair competition. The key point of contention revolves around the conditions accompanying Apple’s willingness to allow alternative app stores on iOS devices. Critics argue that these conditions, such as strict security standards, a €1 million credit requirement for developers, and a per-install fee for apps exceeding a million downloads, make the concession nearly meaningless.
Sarah Bond’s Perspective
“We’ve also seen the new rules, and it’s hard to say it’s fair. It seems like Apple wants its 30% regardless of where it comes from because it asks a lot from anyone trying to compete with it,” Bond stated. Her sentiments align with concerns voiced by other major companies, with Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney calling Apple’s plan “a devious new instance of malicious compliance,” and Spotify deeming it a “total farce.”
Excessive Requirements and Impact on Competition
The main argument against Apple’s plan is that the stringent requirements effectively exclude smaller developers, creating obstacles that hinder healthy competition. Critics contend that these conditions ultimately benefit Apple’s own App Store. While the European Commission, responsible for enforcing the DMA, has yet to issue an official response to Apple’s proposals, a spokesperson stated they “strongly encourage designated gatekeepers to test their proposals with third parties,” hinting at potential scrutiny.
March Deadline Looms for DMA Compliance
With the March deadline for DMA compliance approaching, Apple is under increasing pressure to reconsider its approach. Whether the company will respond to the concerns raised by Bond and other critics remains uncertain, but it’s evident that the tech giant is facing significant pushback in its pursuit of compliance without compromising fair competition.
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