Apple has emerged as the inaugural Major Technology company to be accused of violating the European Union’s latest digital markets regulations, just three days after the tech giant announced it would refrain from launching artificial intelligence in the bloc due to regulatory concerns.

The European Commission declared on Monday that Apple’s App Store was obstructing developers from communicating directly with their users and promoting deals to them, a form of practice identified as anti-steering.

Margrethe Vestager, the EU’s competition chief, stated in a release, “Our initial view is that Apple does not completely allow steering. Steering is fundamental in ensuring that app creators are less reliant on gatekeepers’ app stores and for consumers to have visibility to superior offerings.”

Thierry Breton, the European commissioner for the internal market, delivered a more critical evaluation. “Apple has been stifling innovative companies for too long—depriving consumers of fresh choices and opportunities,” he remarked.

The EU characterized its charges on Monday as “initial conclusions.” Apple now has the chance to counter the accusations, and if a resolution is not achieved, the union possesses the authority to impose penalties—potentially amounting to up to 10 percent of the company’s global revenue—by March 2025.

Tensions between Apple and the EU have been escalating for several months. Brussels initiated an inquiry into the smartphone manufacturer in March for failing to adhere to the competition regulations of the bloc. While probes were also initiated against Meta and Google-parent Alphabet, it is Apple’s partnership with European developers that has been the focus in Brussels.

Back in March, a member of the European Parliament involved in negotiating the Digital Markets Act informed WIRED that Apple was the logical primary target for the new regulations, characterizing the company as “easy prey.” Per the DMA, it is unlawful for Major Technology firms to prioritize their own services over those of competitors.

Developers have expressed strong dissatisfaction with the fresh business agreements enacted by Apple, criticizing the company’s terms as “unfair,” “coercive,” and “unreasonably harsh.”

Rob Saunders, an Apple spokesperson, stated on Monday he was convinced that the company was complying with the legislation. “All developers operating in the EU on the App Store have the opportunity to leverage the functionalities we have introduced, including the option to guide app users to the web for completing purchases at a highly competitive rate,” he mentioned.

Apple announced on Friday that it would not introduce its artificial intelligence features in the EU this year due to what the company referred to as “uncertainties in regulations.” Saunders stated in a declaration, “In particular, we are apprehensive that the interoperability requirements of the DMA might compel us to compromise the integrity of our products in ways that jeopardize user privacy and data security.” The impacted features include iPhone Mirroring, SharePlay Screen Sharing enhancements, and Apple’s initial venture into generative AI, Apple Intelligence.

Apple is not the solitary company attributing their decision to delay the launch of new features to the latest EU regulations. Google postponed the EU introduction of its ChatGPT competitor Bard last year, and recently in June, Meta halted its plans to train its AI on the personal Facebook and Instagram data of Europeans following discussions with privacy regulators. “This marks a regression for European innovation, the competition in AI development, and further postpones the delivery of AI benefits to individuals in Europe,” the company remarked at the time.