Apple’s app store levies antitrust charge in EU
“They want all the benefits of the App Store but don’t think they have to pay anything for it,” Apple said in a statement. “The argument of the commission on behalf of Spotify is the opposite of fair competition.”
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The app store review is part of a larger debate about power of the technology industry, where a small number of companies like Apple, Facebook, Google and Amazon have the power, like government, to set policies on major parts of the digital economy. It determines how people find information and entertainment, communicate and buy.
This week, Apple showed more power by introducing a software update that gave customers more power to block app tracking of data, a change that sparked a rivalry with Facebook, who criticized the move as anti-competitive because it would undermine the ability to sell advertising online.
Companies are increasingly pushing regulators and courts to intervene. At a congressional hearing in Washington last week, companies such as Spotify, Tile, and Match Group told senators how the policies of Apple and Google, of which the Play Store is another hotspot for app developers, have hurt competition and pushed up app prices for customers. And next week, a trial is expected to start in California between Apple and Epic Games, the maker of Fortnite who has filed an antitrust lawsuit against Apple on his fees.
Britain leads another antitrust investigation Apple on the App Store after receiving complaints from developers.
The case announced on Friday is part of a larger effort by the The European Union will repress on so-called “gatekeeper” companies like Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google. Policymakers are drafting laws that would prevent tech giants from abusing their market power to harm small businesses, including the way they run app stores.
Efforts to force changes to the App Store pose a threat to a rapidly growing part of Apple’s business. As sales of iPhones, iPads and other hardware devices mature, the company relies on digital services as a new source of growth. Investor optimism about this activity helped drive Apple’s stock soar, giving it a market value of over $ 2.2 trillion, the largest in the world.