Germany launches antitrust probe in Apple App Store

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Photo credit: Angelo Abear

A German antitrust regulator has launched an investigation into the Apple App Store.

The Bonn-based Federal Cartel Office (FCO) has said it will determine whether Apple has abused its dominant position in the market. The watchdog goes determine if Apple has a “primordial importance in all markets” which stifles all competition.

This decision echoes the European Commission’s antitrust division regarding the policies and practices of the Apple App Store. ECAD found that Apple has distorted competition in the music streaming market. “This preliminary opinion is the result of a 10-month investigation launched by the commission into various complaints filed by Spotify.”

ECAD found that Apple forcing Spotify and other music competitors to use its payment system was a form of market dominance. The two main issues raised include objecting to the mandatory use of integrated purchasing systems and prohibiting application developers from informing consumers about other payment options.

It appears that the FCO’s antitrust investigation in Germany will determine whether Apple has abused its dominant position in the market.

“One of the main objectives of the survey will be the functioning of the App Store, as in many cases it allows Apple to influence the operations of third parties,” said Andreas Mundt, chairman of the FCO. said.

Apple is the fourth major tech company to be the subject of an antitrust investigation in Germany. The FCO is also investigating Google, Facebook and Amazon for violations of antitrust rules. In January, the German parliament passed a law to make it easier for the German government to regulate the market power of large tech platforms.

“What we will try to do with all the tech giants is that we will try to identify anti-competitive behavior, or more importantly, in the business cases of these companies and stop it,” he said. declared Mundt.

The European Commission unveiled its new rules to regulate large tech companies in December. Under its proposal, the EU could impose massive fines on any tech company that doesn’t remove illegal content or treats rivals unfairly. The European Commission has heard complaints against Apple from several companies, including Epic Games, Telegram, ZAW, Spotify and Match Group.

Apple has already responded to some of the antitrust claims made by Spotify by opening up its ecosystem. You can now listen to music from Spotify using Siri as long as you have updated to iOS 14.5. Other changes include the ability for Apple users to set new default email clients or browsers in settings. Still, there is no way to set a default music app in settings.


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