In the ever-evolving landscape of technology and competition law, the European Commission has announced its intention to launch an in-depth investigation into Apple Inc., investigating whether the tech giant may be abusing its market dominance by restricting access to Progressive Web Applications (PWAs). . The move comes as part of Europe’s ongoing efforts to ensure fairness and innovation in digital markets. The Financial Times confirmed this report from the EU.

Apple has said it will ban PWAs in the European Union starting next month. This feature allows companies to create applications that can be accessed as web pages with just a button displayed on the phone’s desktop. Apple claims that the PWA ban is to comply with the Digital Markets Act. This is because browsers other than Safari will expose users to security and privacy risks. Apple said the move will only affect a small number of people. However, the move also clears the way for developers to avoid the 30% “Apple tax”.

After installing the iOS 17.4 Beta2 update, European Apple users can no longer launch PWA apps from the home page and can only open them in Safari. Therefore, PWA apps are downgraded directly to pure website shortcuts. This change is serious and affects the user experience and functionality of PWA apps. Critics say the move undermines web apps as a viable alternative to native iOS apps.

What are Progressive Web Apps (PWAs)

Progressive web apps are web apps that can function as native mobile apps with features like offline functionality, push notifications, and cross-device responsiveness. They offer users a seamless experience without requiring them to download separate software from app stores.

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Accusations against Apple

The European Commission claims that Apple imposes technical restrictions through its iOS operating system, preventing developers from distributing their PWAs through the App Store if they also provide standalone versions of those same apps. These restrictions could potentially stifle innovation and limit consumer choice, thereby harming both developers and consumers.

Apple argues that these measures are necessary to maintain user privacy and security standards, but critics argue that this position serves primarily to protect the company’s own interests rather than promote the broader public good.

Last week, the EU’s competition watchdog questioned developers to determine the impact of the change, which appears to be a precursor to an in-depth investigation into Apple. The European Commission told the Financial Times:

We do review the compliance programs of all watchdogs, including Apple. In this case, we are particularly concerned about the issue with Progressive Web Apps and confirm that we have sent requests for information to Apple and app developers who may provide useful information for our evaluation.

Impact on developers and users

If proven, Apple’s alleged practices would have significant implications for developers and users. For example, developers may face challenges when trying to reach potential customers who prefer using PWAs over traditional apps due to data usage issues or device storage limitations. Additionally, users may miss out on innovative solutions and services that PWAs can bring, ultimately limiting their choices and experiences.

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Apple’s response

In its response, Apple said it complies with the laws of all regions in which it operates. He also said he was ready to provide EU investigators with any relevant information they would need to assist the process.


With the European Commission’s decision to investigate Apple’s handling of PWAs, it’s clear that regulators worldwide are increasingly vigilant about protecting consumer rights and promoting healthy competition between tech giants. As the investigation develops, we will gain further insight into how the European Commission intends to tackle the issue and what implications it has for the future of digital markets.

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EU is set to investigate Apple for banning PWA apps