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Technology EU opens antitrust investigations into Apple Pay and the App Store

15:02  16 june  2020
15:02  16 june  2020 Source:   cnet.com

Apple-backed study sheds light on physical sales through App Store

  Apple-backed study sheds light on physical sales through App Store Apple-backed study sheds light on physical sales through App Store(Reuters) - Apple Inc on Monday released the results of a study that found its App Store spurred $458 billion in sales last year from categories such as retail of physical goods, ride-hailing and advertising from which the iPhone maker takes no commission.

European Union authorities on Tuesday said they had opened antitrust investigations into Apple 's App Store and Apple Pay over concerns that the company was guilty of stifling competition. The European Commission said it launched an official investigation of Apple Pay after allegations that

The European Commission, the executive arm of the EU , is also investigating an antitrust complaint into Apple from music streaming rival Spotify related to terms in We believe that Apple Pay offers the best possible experience for our customers and the safest, most secure solution on the market.

Within the course of a single day, Apple has found itself the subject of two new EU antitrust probes. Europe's Competition Commission announced on Tuesday that it was opening dual investigations into Apple Pay and the App Store.

a sign in front of a laptop: Apple is under the microscope in Europe. Budrul Chukrut/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images © Provided by CNET Apple is under the microscope in Europe. Budrul Chukrut/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The App Store investigation was triggered by a complaint from Spotify over a year due to the high percentage of fees Apple charges companies when consumers make in-app purchases. The investigation will focus on the restrictions Apple places on developers to inform consumers of payment options that may be cheaper outside of the app.

Hey.com exec says Apple is acting like ‘gangsters,’ rejecting App Store updates and demanding cut of sales

  Hey.com exec says Apple is acting like ‘gangsters,’ rejecting App Store updates and demanding cut of sales Apple suggests the rejection is not a mistakeDavid Heinemeier Hansson, the CTO of Basecamp, said that Apple is acting like “gangsters,” rejecting a bug fix update and asking the company in a phone call to commit to adding an in-app subscription to prevent it from being removed. “I was taken aback by how brazen that threat was,” Heinemeier Hansson told The Verge. “I thought you were supposed to wrap the threats in euphemisms or something. But it was pretty clear.

Apple ’s contactless payment service, Apple Pay , is apparently under scrutiny by the European Commission again. A report from MLex says that the EU is fielding comments from other companies in the payment space on Apple ’s market behavior. Specifically, the investigation covers topics like the

Use Apple Pay on the App Store to buy apps and games, or within apps to pay for a ride, a pizza delivery, or a new pair of sneakers — with just The easiest way to send and receive money. You can use Apple Pay to pay and get paid right in Messages, or by asking Siri. There’s no app to download

"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 Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager in a statement. "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."

a close up of a laptop: Apple is under the microscope in Europe. © Budrul Chukrut/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Apple is under the microscope in Europe.

The investigation into Apple Pay will focus on the way Apple restricts rival apps and services from making use of the iPhone's NFC capabilities, which enables Apple Pay's tap-and-go feature.

"It is important that Apple's measures do not deny consumers the benefits of new payment technologies, including better choice, quality, innovation and competitive prices," said Vestager. She added that the coronavirus outbreak had demonstrated the importance of being able to use contactless payment in stores.

Apple did not immediately respond to request for comment.

Telegram is the latest company to file an EU antitrust complaint against Apple .
If big tech thought that its antitrust reckoning would end with yesterday’s hearings, it’ll have its optimism sorely dented by what’s likely to follow. A number of smaller players are lobbing grenades over the fence in the hope of forcing regulators on both sides of the Atlantic to intervene. Today, secure messaging app Telegram is joining in, filing a formal antitrust complaint to the European Union’s competition authority. As the FinancialAs the Financial Times points out, it’s the third big name, after Spotify and Rakuten, which has lobbied the EU to do something about the App Store’s lock-in and 30 percent commission.

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