Apple’s Claim of Multiple Safari Browsers Challenged by EU
Apple’s recent assertion that it offers three distinct versions of its Safari web browser has been met with skepticism by the European Commission. The tech giant made this claim in an attempt to sidestep regulations set by the European Union, reports The Register.
Despite Apple’s marketing materials emphasizing the uniformity of Safari across devices with the tagline “Same Safari. Different device,” the company insisted that it operates three separate browsers. Apple stated that it manages five distinct app stores and five operating systems. The majority of these, Apple argued, do not meet the European usage threshold that would subject them to regulations designed to ensure competition among large platform services.
In September, the European Commission identified six major tech firms, including Apple, as gatekeepers under the Digital Markets Act (DMA). These companies were given half a year to align with the DMA’s stipulations, which aim to curb the dominance of major tech platforms and foster competition.
Apple was categorized as a gatekeeper in three areas: operating systems (iOS), online intermediation services (App Store), and web browsers (Safari). Consequently, by March 2024, Apple is anticipated to permit third-party app stores compatible with iOS and browser engines other than Safari’s WebKit in Europe.
However, Apple contested the European Commission’s decision in a response filed in August. The company emphasized the distinct nature of each Safari browser variant, with the European Commission detailing Apple’s stance in a recently released decision document.
Despite Apple’s efforts, the European Commission remains unconvinced. The commission highlighted Apple’s own promotional materials, which underscore the consistency of Safari across devices. After evaluating Apple’s arguments, the commission determined that Safari should be regarded as a singular web browser, regardless of the accessing device.
What do you think? Does Apple really have three Safari browsers or it is just one?