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The European Union: "Apple with Apps limits the choice of customers"

Apple may soon face the European Union interested in imposing the interoperability of devices and digital content for the mobile platform. The specter of a clash, already touched and then avoided in the music sector with the cancellation of DRM from the iTunes Music Store, comes from some declarations issued by Neelie Kroes, responsible for the EU's digital agenda. One of my main objectives at the moment – says Kroes in an interview released to the Europolitics website Euroactive.eu – to ensure that new trends in the world of digital goods do not block those who buy in a system that supports monopolies

That in the target in the development of this policy there are also Apple, iTunes and iPhone Kroes says it clearly and in the round; User data move more and more in the Cloud and people acquire music, videos and applications digitally, as happens for iTunes for example, instead of buying them on physical media and we must make sure that every protagonist of this market does not is able to close interoperability and this is even more important where standards do not exist. During the interview, Apple and its Apps are subsequently indicated as one of the main examples of a closed system: each device should be able to communicate with any type of service in the future. Applications for Apple products, such as iPhones, are an example of a great market protagonist that forces consumers within a proprietary technology.

How Europe can force IT protagonists to interoperability is unclear and Kroes herself does not say so simply specifying that her intention is to ask for licensing processes to be set up which are not currently available to everyone. The head of the Union's digital agenda also adds that every company that has a significant market position and is against interoperability must know that the Commission is ready to defend the interests of European consumers.

The tough stance of the Union is not, as mentioned at the beginning, the first in the IT and digital content sector. Apple touched the clash with the Brussels authorities when it still had a DRM system, imposed by record companies, on the music of the iTunes store. The situation was resolved with the cancellation of the padlock, an operation that Apple had even hoped for and facilitated. But the situation is now very different because the ecosystem that binds mobile devices and the application store is part of a strategy that is based precisely on the link between the App and iPhone (and iPad); to think that something else than the App Store Apps can turn on the iPhone or, worse, see the same Apps migrate elsewhere, in the current state of things seems an impossible paradox but that Apple could be forced to solve or try to challenge in court.