LONDON – The UK Competition and Market Authority (CMA) announced Thursday that it has launched an investigation into Apple. It said this was the result of complaints about anti-competitive practices around the App Store.

CMA Looking into Apple App Store Practices

The CMA said that developers had reported that Apple’s terms and conditions were unfair, and meant they can only distribute their products through the App Store. As with cases elsewhere, the commission charged taken by Apple on in-app was also highlighted.

The CMA  will now consider whether or not Apple holds a dominant position in the UK as regards the distribution of apps on Apple devices. If this is found to be the case, the CMA will also investigate whether the company imposes unfair or anti-competitive terms on developers and if these lead to users having less choice or paying higher prices. At this stage, no judgment has been passed on whether Apple is breaking the law. 

Andrea Coscelli, Chief Executive of the CMA commented:

Millions of us use apps every day to check the weather, play a game or order a takeaway. So, complaints that Apple is using its market position to set terms which are unfair or may restrict competition and choice – potentially causing customers to lose out when buying and using apps – warrant careful scrutiny.

The same body recently launched an investigation into forthcoming changes proposed by Google’s Privacy Sandbox project.

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