EU’s Vestager Warns Apple Over Privacy & Anticompetitive Behavior

Apple has been warned by the European Commissioner for Competition, Margrethe Vestager, not to use privacy and security concerns as a shield for anticompetitive behavior. In an interview with Reuters, Vestager said that while she shares Apple’s concerns about privacy and security, competition is just as important.

Vestager’s comments come after Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke out against the proposed Digital Markets Act in Europe, which was first unveiled last December. According to Cook, this legislation could lead to changes that seriously “destroy the security of the iPhone.”

Speaking to Reuters today, Vestager explained that she does not believe customers will be giving up privacy or security if they sideload: “think privacy and security is of paramount importance to everyone. The important thing here is, of course, that it’s not a shield against competition, because I think customers will not give up neither security nor privacy if they use another app store or if they sideload,” she said.

Among other things, the proposed Digital Markets Act in Europe could lead to major changes for the App Store and pre-installed first-party applications on the iPhone.

It would also force Apple to allow side-loading on the iPhone, which is something Cook strongly pushes back against. If Apple had to allow side-loading, Cook said last month, then features like App Store nutrition labels and App Tracking Transparency “would not exist anymore.”

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