Meta has confirmed plans to offer an alternative to Google and Apple’s app stores in the EU as the DMA regulations take effect.
Due to a new regulation launched in the EU, the Digital Markets Act (DMA), Apple and Google are being required to open up their mobile platforms to alternative methods of downloading apps. Set to take effect later this year, the DMA will prevent the monopoly the tech giants hold over apps that requires users to download apps from inside the store applications exclusively.
Meta will launch a pilot through Android that allows Meta users to download applications through ads on the Facebook mobile app without being kicked into the Play Store.
According to The Verge, Meta’s pitch to developers participating in the pilot is that, by hosting their Android apps and letting Facebook users download them directly without being kicked out to the Play Store, they’ll see higher conversion rates for their app install ads. Meta reportedly won’t take a cut of in-app revenue from participating apps.
Currently, the Apple App store charges a 30 percent fee for apps and in app purchases and has exclusive download rights and Google’s Play Store for Android takes a 15 percent cut for a developer’s first $1M in annual revenue.
In March, Microsoft also announced plans to launch an alternative app store for games on iOS and Android in Europe next year similarily as a result of the DMA regulation.
The DMA is set to challenge large online platforms that connect consumers with content, goods, and services from abusing their market power. The law primarily targets the providers of key platform services that have at least 45 million monthly active users in the EU. It will not only prevent gatekeeping amongst big tech companies, but is set to target data mining and how digital gatekeepers can use people’s data— for example, users must give their explicit consent for their activities to be tracked for advertising purposes and data cannot be linked between services. The regulation also looks at presenting users with the option to uninstall preloaded applications on devices, and gatekeepers are banned from ranking their own products or services higher than others in online searches, among other major crack downs.
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