Apple’s iPad has been added to a list of Big Tech products and services hit by tough new European Union rules aimed at stopping potential competitive abuses before they take hold.

The move means Apple has six months to make sure its tablet ecosystem meets a number of preventative measures under the EU’s flagship Digital Markets Act.

The company’s iOS mobile operating system, its App Store and Safari browser are already subject to the law, but Apple challenged its designation for certain services at the EU’s General Court in Luxembourg, with hearings to be held later this year.

The EU’s decision to include the iPad in the scope of the DMA will ensure that fairness and competition are preserved, European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a statement. She said that while it didn’t meet all the thresholds for appointment, an investigation showed that “iPadOS represents an important gateway that many companies rely on to reach their customers.”

The decision is a loss for Cupertino, California-based Apple, which will have to adapt its operating system to meet a number of new obligations and prohibitions, including allowing iPad users to download apps beyond Apple’s borders, as well as being able to uninstall apps preloaded on devices.

An Apple spokesman said the company remains focused on providing services to European consumers “while mitigating the new data privacy and security risks that DMA presents.”

The EU DMA strikes at the heart of the business models of six of the world’s most powerful technology firms, considered digital “gatekeepers”. In addition to Apple, Microsoft, Meta Platforms, Alphabet’s Google, and TikTok owner ByteDance were all targeted for new duties aimed at preventing them from abusing their dominance.

Under the law, which went into effect on March 7, it is illegal for certain businesses to favor their own services over those of competitors. They are also prohibited from combining personal data across their various services, prohibited from using data they collect from third-party merchants to compete with them, and must allow users to download apps from competing platforms.

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