EC opened two antitrust investigations into Apple’s practices

The European Commission (EC) has opened two investigations into Apple’s practices. The first investigation relates to the App Store and aims to assess whether Apple’s rules for app developers on the distribution of apps via the App Store violate EU competition rules. The EC is concerned about the mandatory use of Apple’s own proprietary in-app purchase system, which forces the developers to use only Apple Store for selling their content or subscriptions. This results in restricting the ability of developers (publishers and content developers) to tell users within their apps that the same items can be bought elsewhere.

The second formal investigation relates to the Apple Pay system and whether it complies with EU competition rules. In particular, the investigation concerns Apple’s terms, conditions, and other measures for integrating Apple Pay in seller’s apps and websites on iPhones and iPads.  Apple limits access to the Near Field Communication (NFC) functionality (‘tap and go’) on iPhones for payments in stores only to Apple Pay and does not allow other contactless payments systems (Google Pay, Samsung Pay) to run.