Apple Pay in the sights of the European Commission, the company will face new antitrust charges Brussels

According to some US media, Apple will face new antitrust charges in Brussels next week for allegedly blocking rivals from using Apple Pay, its mobile payment system. This development comes as the European Union prepares to challenge the monopoly of the technological giant, whose turnover reaches 2.5 billion dollars. Apple will be sued for failing to comply with European law in the operation of Apple Pay.

The inquiry, led by EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager, plans to accuse Apple of unfairly restricting access to its rivals, including PayPal and some banks, to its mobile wallet system. If the charges are confirmed, the iPhone maker could face hefty fines of up to 10% of its global revenue. The case, which was filed in 2020, is believed to be one of several investigations launched against Apple Brussels. Apple has found itself in the crosshairs of regulatory authorities on several occasions in recent years.

The Dutch Market Surveillance Authority fined Apple at the end of February 5 million euros (total amount: 25 million euros), the fifth such sanction in several consecutive weeks, as part of a dispute over access to non-Apple payment methods for dating app subscriptions.

The Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) believes that the iPhone maker is abusing a dominant market position by not allowing software application makers in the Netherlands to use other methods of payment for dating apps accessible through its App Store.

The ACM has been imposing weekly fines of €5 million since Apple failed to meet a Jan. 15 deadline to make changes demanded by the watchdog. She said the American company had made no new proposals to comply with her decision during the past week. “We have made it clear to Apple how it can comply with the ruling,” the watchdog said in a statement. So far, however, they have refused to put forward any serious proposals.

In 2020, Epic noted that when it gave users of its Fortnite app a choice of how they could make purchases, Apple retaliated by removing Fortnite from its App Store. Then, when Epic sued Apple over its alleged abuse of dominance over app stores and in-app payments, Apple retaliated fiercely.

Apple told Epic that by August 28, its access to all developer tools needed to build software for Apple’s platforms, including Unreal Engine Epic offerings to third-party developers, would be cut off, yet Apple has not has ever alleged that the latter violated any of its policies. Not content with removing Fortnite from the App Store, Apple has gone after all of Epic’s business in unrelated areas.

Epic decided to apply to the court on these matters, including asking it to demand that Apple restore Fortnite to its download storefront, but to prohibit it from revoking its access to iOS and macOS developer tools in retaliation for the introduction of the introduction of a new payment option in Fortnite. The judge won his case on the second part, but not on the first, thus prohibiting Apple from blocking Unreal Engine.

Nevertheless, Apple did not hear it that way. Once the August 28 deadline arrived, Apple officially terminated the Epic Games account on the App Store. This means the app is no longer available on the iPhone or iPad even if you’ve downloaded it once before and other Epic games like Infinity Blade are no longer downloadable.

In the same year, Telegram, the popular app with more than millions of users worldwide, filed a formal antitrust complaint with the European Union over the practices of Apple’s App Store, it was reported last week. the Financial Times newspaper. This complaint was in addition to those of other major application developers who are uniting to fight against the rules of the iPhone maker’s App Store. In the complaint to EU competition chief Margrethe Vestager, Telegram argues that Apple must allow users the ability to download software outside of the App Store.

As Apple’s CEO emerged from a defense session of his online app store at a U.S. House of Representatives Antitrust Subcommittee hearing, the number of antitrust complaints against the company’s App Store in the European Union spiked. increased from that of Telegram. As the Financial Times pointed out, it was the third big name, after Spotify and Rakuten, to lobby the EU to do something about App Store anticompetitive practices and the licensing commission. 30 %.

In early 2022, India’s competition watchdog ordered an investigation into Apple’s business practices in the country, finding that the iPhone maker had violated certain antitrust laws.

The order from the Competition Commission of India (CCI) comes after a nonprofit group alleged this year that Apple was abusing its dominant position in the app market by forcing developers to use its proprietary system. in-app purchase. The complainant, Together We Fight Societyargued that Apple’s imposition of a 30% tax on the distribution of paid digital content and other restrictions harm competition by increasing costs for app developers and customers, while constituting a barrier to market entry.

The ICC said Apple’s restrictions result in a prima facie denial of market access to potential app developers and distributors. “At this point, the Commission is satisfied that Apple is the subject of a prima facie complaint that merits investigation,” she said. The company had previously been accused by European regulators of breaking antitrust laws by not allowing developers to offer iPhone and iPad users other purchasing options besides apps.

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See as well :

Indian antitrust authorities order an investigation into Apple for allegedly abusing the app market, by forcing developers to use its proprietary in-app purchase system

Apple removes Epic Games developer account: users on iOS and macOS can neither download Epic Games nor receive updates

The Dutch antitrust authority imposes a fifth fine of 5 million euros on Apple, for alleged non-compliance with regulations relating to the payment system of applications

Telegram files complaint against Apple’s App Store with EU antitrust authorities, joining early developers in pressuring company’s practices

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