EU Launches Investigations Into Apple's App Store Rules And Apple Pay

Apple is facing European Commission investigations into App Store rules and Apple Pay.

The first case is linked to the App Store rules. The European Commission will investigate whether Apple’s rules for app developers who distribute apps through the App Store violate EU competition rules.

The committee will investigate the restrictions set by Apple, including it is mandatory to use Apple's proprietary in-app purchase system "IAP" to distribute paid digital content, charge developers a 30% commission on all subscription fees through IAP, and restrict the ability of developers to inform users about the possibility of purchases other than apps.

Notably, Kobo, an e-book distributor, alleges that Apple's commission rate is anti-competitive when it also promotes its own Apple Books service. The former argues that because Apple charges a 30% fee on each ebook it sells, it makes it impossible to turn a profit, but Apple Books can make plenty at no additional cost.
Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: "Mobile applications have fundamentally changed the way we access content. Apple sets the rules for the distribution of apps to users of iPhones and iPads. It appears that Apple obtained 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, for example with its music streaming service Apple Music or with Apple Books. I have therefore decided to take a close look at Apple's ‌App Store‌ rules and their compliance with EU competition rules."
The second case is related to Apple Pay. The committee will investigate the terms, conditions, and other measures of Apple’s integration of Apple Pay into merchant apps and websites on iPhones and iPads, as well as how it restricts near-field communication access to the “tap and go” payment technology in stores. The EU stated that the investigation is a “priority.”

In response, Apple countered that the EU is reviewing competitors for "baseless complaints," Moreover,  the company stated that they "want to maintain a level playing field where anyone with determination and a great idea can succeed."

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