During Meta’s Q4 earnings call, CEO Mark Zuckerberg criticized Apple’s compliance with the EU’s Digital Markets Act (DMA) regulation. The DMA mandates Apple to open its App Store and permit developers to use their own payment systems. Zuckerberg, in response to an investor question about Meta’s stance on the DMA, expressed that Apple’s new rules are “so onerous” that he would be surprised if any developer adopts them.
The DMA was designed to boost competition in the app economy by allowing companies to operate their app stores and handle their payments, potentially bypassing Apple’s commissions and fees. However, Apple’s implementation of the DMA reduced commissions but introduced additional fees, including a new “Core Technology Fee,” applicable to any developer adopting the DMA rules, regardless of app distribution. Alternatively, developers can choose to remain under the existing commission structure, where Apple takes a 15% to 30% cut of in-app purchase revenues, depending on the app’s reach.
Meta, formerly Facebook, had considered launching its app store but faced challenges due to Apple’s rules. Zuckerberg’s recent comments suggest that Meta is unlikely to adopt the DMA rules due to their perceived complexity and misalignment with the intent of the EU regulation.
Other tech companies, including Epic Games, Spotify, Mozilla, and Microsoft, have also criticized Apple’s compliance with the DMA. Epic Games characterized Apple’s DMA rules as “malicious compliance” filled with “junk fees.” Spotify labeled them as “extortion” and a “total farce,” while Microsoft stated that they represent a “step in the wrong direction.” Match, another notable Apple critic, has not yet decided whether it will opt into the new DMA rules, pending further examination.