EU Launches Two Antitrust Investigations Against Apple

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by Tyler Durden
Tuesday, Jun 16, 2020 - 12:00 PM

Last week, the WSJ reported that the European Union is planning on filing antitrust charges against Amazon over its treatment of third-party sellers.

Today, the EU ratcheted up their battle against big tech by launching dual antitrust investigations into Apple's mobile app store and payment platform, Apple Pay.

According to the LA Times, Apple has been accused of restricting developers from notifying iPhone and iPad users how to make purchases outside of apps - an investigation which follows complaints from streaming music platform Spotify and an e-book distributor over how the company operates its App store.

The EU's second investigation centers around allegations that Apple has been restricting access to Apple Pay, setting conditions on how merchants may use the service on apps and websites, and restricting the ability for some developers to offer Apple's "tap and go" function on iPhones.

"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," said EU Executive Vice President Margrethe Vestager - who has built a reputation as a fierce antitrust hawk.

"It is important that Apple’s measures do not deny consumers the benefits of new payment technologies," she added, noting that growth in mobile payments has accelerated amid the coronavirus pandemic as people migrate to "contactless" cashless payments in stores.