In the mids of Apple’s Epic battle… we mean, the ongoing lawsuit between Apple and game maker Epic, Cupertino is now getting another legal action looming, and it is a set of UK rules to protect the competition, reports MacRumors.
The Digital Markets Unit (DMU) will have the power to sanction tech giants or reverse their decisions if they are found anti-competitive
Back in April, the UK created the Digital Markets Unit (DMU), which now has the authority to designate big tech companies as “Strategic Market Status.” Basically, the SMS status means these companies need to follow a new set of rules, beneficial to healthy competition and market growth. The SMS-designated companies will need to follow rules of ‘acceptable behavior’ in regards to competition. These actions should bring more innovation and fairer terms for UK businesses, including startup companies, news publishers, and advertisers.
Currently, no companies have been listed as “Strategic Market Status” yet. However, the UK has been heavily investigating Apple over concerns of a dominant position in the mobile tech market.
One of the main concerns for governments in the UK and other countries is posed by the App Store, as it is the only place Apple allows iPhone and iPad users to download apps from. And the App Store is controlled by Apple, all apps that go onto the store have to be approved. Sideloading of apps is not allowed on Apple devices.
The Digital Markets Unit may require companies to avoid restricting users to a specific “default” service. Tech companies will need to follow this new requirement as a “mandatory code of conduct”. Companies disobeying the rule might get sanctioned or forced to overturn decisions. Fines may go up to a minimum of 10 percent of the company’s turnover for the most severe breaches of the rule.
The Unit will also have the authority to “block and reverse code-breaching behavior” by big tech companies. For example, this power might be used to overturn Apple’s decisions such as what apps are rejected, or the direct terms and conditions developers must agree to.
The UK’s Digital Secretary, Oliver Dowden, called the new rules and measures a “champion” effort to give small businesses a chance to compete in the digital market. The new measures will also ensure the tech giants play by the rules.