Your Game,
Your Choice

The EU Digital Markets Act finally unlocks the iOS and Android ecosystems, and Aptoide welcomes you to this new world of distribution opportunities

A new victory in a long battle

Aptoide has been a leader in the fight for open and fair competition in the mobile app market since 2011. As pioneers and innovators in alternative Android app distribution, we have persistently challenged the crushing anti-competitive behaviors of dominant players like Google. Our commitment to legal challenges and support for regulatory initiatives, such as the Digital Markets Act (DMA) in Europe, has led to important victories for both developers and consumers.
We view compliance with the DMA's requirements by the big gatekeepers as a critical step towards achieving fairness in digital markets. At the same time, the path to establishing truly open digital markets, where genuine innovation can succeed, is still not free from gatekeeping obstacles - far from it.

Progress made - but challenges persist

The fact is that the current landscape remains imbalanced. Apple's proposed changes under the DMA appear to be more about preserving its dominance than promoting genuine competition. They are more self-serving than pro-competitive. The introduction of a new Core Technology Fee (CTF) acts as an inadmissible barrier, while restrictive terms limit developers' ability to access alternative solutions. Additionally, the needlessly complex installation process for non-Apple apps discourages users from exploring outside of Apple's ecosystem.This means that Apple continues to favor its own market-place at the expense of competitors. The CTF disproportionately impacts alternative stores more than individual developers. Misleading warnings during the checkout process deter users from using competitors' payment systems, and there are serious concerns that Apple may retain data from transactions involving competitors.

Apple must do better!

The half-hearted reforms announced by Apple allow it to maintain its control rather than moving towards an open market. As committed advocates for a fair and open market-place, we believe that EU authorities need to hold Apple accountable, to encourage them to do better. They should demand that Apple:

  • Eliminate or significantly reduce the Core Technology Fee to accurately reflect actual costs;
  • Offer developers the flexibility to choose between the two proposed models without restrictions;
  • Simplify the installation process to improve the user experience;
  • Apply the CTF fairly across all market participants;
  • Remove misleading warnings about alternative payment systems during checkout;
  • Ensure the confidentiality of data from competing marketplaces

The fight continues - and it needs everybody

Aptoide is ready to demonstrate the benefits of an open ecosystem, but real competition can only be achieved if the EU takes decisive action to demand more from both Apple and Google. The time for tolerance and leniency towards dominant gatekeepers is over, and collectively we need to ensure that this change happens, and happens quickly. Developers have the chance to try new ways of distributing and monetizing their content. Consumers have the right to discover and engage with apps and games through new channels. If we don’t want innovation to be blocked, and consumer choice to be restrict- ed, regulators must understand the importance of open markets, and to feel the combined pressure and support from all, developers and consumers.

We shall not turn

This battle against the suffocating power of global gatekeepers requires a brave, firm commitment from everyone. We will not turn from this fight. We will leverage Europe’s DMA, as well as other positive regulatory decisions around the world, to tear down unacceptable barriers to freedom of choice, and to push for a digital marketplace ruled by fairness and innovation.Collectively we shall keep fighting in the EU, we shall fight across the globe, with the help of developers and consumers, we shall never surrender to the enemies of a digital free world.

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