European Commission Continues Pressure on Apple with Competition Probes
European officials continue to review Apple’s business practices. The European Commission is opening probes exploring whether App Store and Apple Pay services breach competition rules.
The EC explained in statments it was exploring whether Apple effectively shut out competitors by mandating the use of its own in-app purchasing set-up in the App Store, while also investigating the terms and conditions imposed on integrating Apple Pay. The App Store probe is a follow up to separate complaints by Spotify, and a distributor of e- and audio-books. It will explore whether Apple restricted the ability of developers to let iPhone and iPad users know of alternative cheaper purchasing possibilities outside of apps.
Concerns raised by a preliminary investigation lie behind the Apple Pay move, and will explore allegations Apple refused access to the service and limited access to NFC on iPhones. Competition Commissioner and EC vice president Margrethe Vestager said Apple had apparently established a gatekeeper role when it comes to the distribution of apps and content to users of Apple’s popular devices. “We need to ensure that Apple’s rules do not distort competition in markets where Apple is competing with other app developers,” added Vestager.