Commission designates Apple’s iPadOS under the Digital Markets Act

The European Commission has today designated Apple with respect to iPadOS, its operating system for tablets, as a gatekeeper under the Digital Markets Act (“DMA”). Apple now has six months to ensure full compliance of iPadOS with the DMA obligations.

On 5 September 2023, the Commission designated Apple as a gatekeeper for its operating system iOS, its browser Safari and its App Store. On the same day, the Commission opened a market investigation to assess whether Apple’s iPadOS, despite not meeting the quantitative thresholds laid down in the DMA, constitutes an important gateway for business users to reach end users and therefore should be designated as a gatekeeper.

Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager in charge of competition policy said: “The Digital Markets Act is a dynamic tool which allows us to tackle the realities of digital markets. Today, we have brought Apple’s iPadOS within the scope of the DMA obligations. Our market investigation showed that despite not meeting the thresholds, iPadOS constitutes an important gateway on which many companies rely to reach their customers. Today’s decision will ensure that fairness and contestability are preserved also on this platform, in addition to the 22 other services we designated last September. Apple has six months to make iPadOS compliant with the DMA.”

Commissioner for the Internal Market Thierry Breton said: “Today we conclude the first market investigation for qualitative designation under the DMA finding that also iPadOS is an important gateway for businesses to reach consumers. Apple has now six months to comply with the DMA obligations. We continue monitoring market developments and will not hesitate to open new investigations should other services below the thresholds present characteristics to be considered important gateways for business users.”