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EU: Apple not launching AI iPhone features a "stunning declaration" that it's "disabling competition"

The latest spat between Apple and the European Commission centres on the tech giant's unwillingness to launch Apple Intelligence features in the region
EU: Apple not launching AI iPhone features a
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Apple’s refusal to launch new Apple Intelligence features on iPhone in the European Union is a “stunning” declaration that it is disabling competition, says the European Commission's executive VP.

As spotted by The Verge, Margrethe Vestager made the comments at Forum Europa in response to Apple's recent decision to delay its AI rollout in the EU.

Last week Bloomberg reported that the tech giant would not release Apple Intelligence, iPhone Mirroring and SharePlay Screen Sharing this year for users in the region.

It cited the Digital Markets Act and concerns over “interoperability requirements”, which it said would “force us to compromise the integrity of our products in ways that risk user privacy and data security”.

"Disabling competition"

The DMA aims to force the world’s largest tech companies, which it has designated as gatekeepers, to open up their large platforms to more competition. In Apple’s case, the EU wants to see the App Store and iOS open up to third-party marketplaces, payments and apps in and outside of its ecosystem.

Vestager said Apple was simply not launching AI features in the EU because it would be forced to allow competition.

“Apple have said that they will not launch their new AI-enabled features in the iOS environment,” she said. 

“And they say that they will not do that because of the obligation that they have in Europe. And the obligation that they have in Europe is to be open to competition. That is the short version of the DMA. 

“I find that very interesting that they say 'we will now deploy AI where we’re not obliged to enable competition'. I think that is the most stunning, open declaration that they know 100% that this is another way of disabling competition where they have a stronghold already.”

This week the EC issued its preliminary view that Apple's App Store policies do not adhere to DMA rules, putting the tech giant at risk of large fines. It also opened a new non-compliance investigation into the company's alternative business terms for publishers in the EU.