Jan Krämer was invited by the European Commission to discuss technical and legal issues on the implementation of the Digital Markets Act’s app store-related provisions. On a panel with stakeholders, he introduced the topic and presented the different distribution channels through which consumers can assess digital content and services through their devices and how the DMA fosters contestability in the provision of apps, app stores, browser engines and (progressive) web apps. Particularly, Article 6(4) of the DMA enables sideloading (direct downloading) of apps, and the ability to install alternative app stores. Article 5(7) DMA paves the way for alternative browser engines, which may then enable more functionalities for web apps, so that they can rival native apps. Article 6(3) DMA requires easy un-installation of pre-installed apps, lowering consumers’ implied costs for switching to alternative apps. Finally, Article 6(7) DMA requires that alternative apps, browsers and app stores have access to the same functionalities of the operating system and access to the same hardware features as apps of the integrated provider/gatekeeper.
Together, these provisions are expected to deliver more consumer choice, more innovation and lower prices for digital content and services, especially in mobile ecosystems. The provisions will have a particularly significant impact on Apple’s mobile ecosystem, which currently does not allow alternative app stores, nor sideloading of apps, and requires every browser to use Apple’s browser engine (WebKit).
Further panel members included Kyle Andeer (Apple), Jari-Pekka Kaleva (European Games Developer Federation), and Alex Moore (Open Web Advocacy). The panel was moderated by Thomas Kramler (DG COMP) and Pierre Bichet (DG COMP).
The recording can be accessed here: https://webcast.ec.europa.eu/dma-stakeholder-workshop-on-app-stores-23-03-06 (second panel on alternative app stores begins at 13:03). The presentation and further information on the workshop can be accessed here: https://competition-policy.ec.europa.eu/dma/dma-workshops_en