Apple is again under fire for obstacles to competition

Apple is again under fire for obstacles to competition

The European Commission challenges the 30% commission charged to developers. While the lawsuit brought by Epic Games starts in the United States

(Photo: / Frieds of Europe) Apple a letter of formal disputes. The thesis is that Cupertino has distorted competition in the music streaming market in the European economic area. There are two practices put on the index by the Brussels authority: the mandatory use of Apple's proprietary in-app purchase system, through which the company imposes a 30% commission on developers who earn over $ 1 million. year and the prohibition for developers present in the App Store to inform users about the existence of purchase options outside the Apple circuit.

The Californian company will be able to respond to comments within 12 weeks, but this represents the first step of a possible procedure that could lead to heavy fines, up to 10% of Apple's turnover. According to the latest data, it would be 27 billion dollars, being the 2020 revenues of 274.5 billion, explains The Verge. The case stems from a complaint submitted to the Commission in 2019 by Spotify, which was believed to be damaged on the App Store, where it competes with Apple Music to reach the same market. “With Apple Music, Apple also competes with streaming music providers. By establishing strict rules on the App Store that disadvantage competition (on such services, ed.), It deprives users of cheaper choices. Apple is at odds with European competition law. Consumers are the losers, ”explained Vice President Margrethe Vestager.

Our preliminary conclusion: @Apple is in breach of EU competition law. @AppleMusic competes with other music streaming services. But @Apple charges high commission fees on rivals in the App store & forbids them to inform of alternative subscription options. Consumers losing out.

- Margrethe Vestager (@vestager) April 30, 2021

This is because developers find themselves forced to download the so-called “Apple tax And at the same time the App Store is the only marketplace for downloading applications to devices in Apple's closed ecosystem, also becoming the intermediary for all in-app transactions. The Cupertino company replied that "no store in the world allows you to advertise alternative sales", adding that "the reasons for the commission on behalf of Spotify are the opposite of fair competition".

For the same diatribe, overseas a trial is underway that sees Apple facing the video game production house Epic Games, whose most famous product is Fortnite. Last year, the developers launched an in-app payment system for the game, which bypassed the 30% fee, and were thus banned from the App Store. Hence, the 65-page lawsuit filed by Epic Games, with CEO Tim Cook serving as a witness in court in Oakland, California. Epic Games is demanding that platforms such as Apple and Google accept third party payment systems. The judge will be responsible for the difficult judgment on the nature of the App Store.

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