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Google and Apple Adapt Their European Operations to Comply with the Digital Markets Act

Google outlines changes to comply with EU's DMA, including redesigning search page and offering more choices for browsers and apps.


In anticipation of the European Union’s Digital Markets Act (DMA) taking effect, Alphabet’s Google has disclosed the exhaustive measures it has undertaken to align its operations with the new law. The DMA, which aims to foster competition within the digital market, imposes strict conditions on dominant tech enterprises, identifying them as “gatekeepers”. As of the latest directive by the European Commission, Alphabet, along with five other tech behemoths including Amazon, Apple, ByteDance, Meta, and Microsoft, must modify their business methodologies and product designs to diminish the competitive barriers erected by their platform rules.

As these regulations commence, Google has broadcasted the culmination of numerous months of industrious preparation by its teams, spanning engineers to product designers, to meet these regulatory demands. Oliver Bethell, Google’s director of competition, accentuated the intricate work involved in these adjustments, underscoring the company’s commitment to innovation and security despite the forthcoming operational shifts.

Apple’s Approach and Industry Reactions

Notably, Apple’s response to the DMA’s stipulations contrasted with Google’s delineation of compliance efforts. Initially, Apple showcased strong resistance, articulating concerns over potential security vulnerabilities and threats to user privacy due to the DMA’s facilitation of third-party payment processing and app store alternatives. After significant public and regulatory backlash, however, Apple recanted its stance against supporting Progressive Web Apps in Europe, subsequently releasing updates to its iOS and iPadOS platforms to observe DMA guidelines.

Apple and Google’s divergent approaches to the DMA compliance reveal the complex landscape of navigating these new regulations. The broader tech industry watches closely as these changes not only impact operational frameworks but also alter competitive dynamics within the European Digital Market.

Anticipated Changes and Global Implications

Among the notable revisions Google announced was the restructuring of its search page layout for European users, introducing a “new carousel rich result” for various queries and removing exclusive Google Flights data in favor of broader airline information. Additionally, Android and other platform users in the European Economic Area will encounter new browser and search engine choice screens, enhancing consumer autonomy in service selection.

Google is also developing a Data Portability API, aligning with DMA’s data portability norms to facilitate easier data transfers for users and third parties. Alongside, it promises augmented analytics data for advertisers and publishers, broadening transparency and data accessibility.

The implementation of the DMA and the proactive adjustments by gatekeepers signal a significant shift in how tech giants operate within Europe. Observers note the DMA’s influence extending beyond the EU, with countries like Japan and the United Kingdom considering similar competitive regulations. As these tech titans reconfigure their services and business models, the ripple effects promise to redefine digital market competition and user empowerment on a global scale.

Luke Jones
Luke Jones
Luke has been writing about all things tech for more than five years. He is following Microsoft closely to bring you the latest news about Windows, Office, Azure, Skype, HoloLens and all the rest of their products.