Apple faces another antitrust case in the EU

Ceria Alfonso
Abril 14, 2019

The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) announced it will investigate Apple to determine whether the company abuses its position in the App Store, like giving its own apps preferential treatment.

While the original complaints received by the Dutch regulator have mainly been directed towards Apple and the App Store, the ACM also notes the dominant position Google is now in for the Android app ecosystem. However, it's possible to speculate that the probe may be motivated partially by the antitrust complaint that Spotify Technology AG recently filed against Apple with the European Commission. This was said citing a report on the apps market it published on Thursday.

The ACM is calling on app providers to report if they have problems with Apple's App Store, but also with Google Play. That was reason to start a follow-up investigation into whether apple complies with competition rules. The investigation focuses on Dutch apps for news media. The ACM has not yet reached the conclusion that abuse of power has taken place.

Henk Don, Member of the Board of ACM, said: 'To a large degree, app providers depend on Apple and Google for offering apps to users.

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App providers indicate that they do not always have a fair chance with their own apps, against those from Apple or Google, which are often pre-installed on mobile phones. By this way, Apple is apparently set to limit accidental subscriptions, which is one of the major problems pertaining to subscriptions on the App Store. This suggests the watchdog may be planning to look into Apple News+, the subscription-based magazine service that the company launched last month.

The addition of the new confirmation step means when you download an app with a subscription or purchase a subscription option in an app, you'll see a second subscription popup requiring a confirmation after you initially confirm the purchase via Touch ID or Face ID on an iOS device.

"We are confident (ACM's) review will confirm all developers have an equal opportunity to succeed in the App Store", the company said in a statement.

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