By: Stijn Huijts (The Platform Law Blog)
Big Tech juggernauts Apple and Google have something in common: they both find their software retail ecosystem, the App Store and Play Store, to be huge profit generators. Up to 70% of these significant revenues is represented by a single category – gaming apps. This means that Apple, which is not itself a videogame developer, is likely making more money from videogames than actual developers such as Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo or Activision… combined!
Being such a driver for profits, any discussion about Apple and Google’s business practices regarding their online app stores must take these games into consideration. This includes the Digital Markets Act (DMA) passed by the European Union last year. .
The DMA, an innovative and much-vaunted set of regulations, lays down rules to help ensure a fair and competitive environment in the digital economy, particularly for businesses and end users of so-called “core platform services” provided by the largest providers, who assume the role of “gatekeepers” to the digital market. This regulation will enter into effect in only a few short weeks, in May 2023. Its application is sure to have major consequences for both Big Tech giants insofar as their app store terms and conditions, and how they run their operating systems…