Economy

Apple Faces Two EU Probes Into App Store Rules, Apple Pay

Apple Faces Two EU Probes Into App Store Rules, Apple Pay”

Officials are also looking into Apple's limitation of "tap and go" functionality on iPhone for payment in store and alleged refusal of access for Apple Pay.

The largest US technology companies are being investigated by antitrust regulators, and Apple has been criticized in recent years for exerting too much power over outside developers that rely on its App Store.

The Commission said it had completed a "preliminary investigation" and found "concerns" that discouraged competition against Apple's own services.

The App Store investigation concerns a requirement that developers use Apple's in-app purchase system when building apps for its platform.

Apple Inc.'s App Store facilitated sales of $519 billion previous year, underscoring the influence of the digital marketplace on the global economy, according to a study supported by the company. Apart from that, apps for music and video streaming, fitness, education, ebooks and audiobooks, news and magazines, and dating services were also very popular.

"We welcome the European Commission's decision to formally investigate Apple, and hope they'll act with urgency to ensure fair competition on the iOS platform for all participants in the digital economy", it added.

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"We follow the law in everything we do and we embrace competition at every stage because we believe it pushes us to deliver even better results", the spokesperson said.

Launched in 2014, Apple Pay marked the company's diversification from sales of devices like iPhones and iPads.

"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", Vestager said in a statement.

Apple said that the European Union is responding to complaints from rivals that "simply want a free ride, and don't want to play by the same rules as everyone else".

Apple on Monday released the results of a study that found its App Store spurred $458 billion (roughly Rs. 34.76 lakh crores) in sales past year from categories such as retail of physical goods, ride-hailing, and advertising from which the iPhone maker takes no commission.

Executive vice-president Margrethe Vestager, who is in charge of competition policy acknowledged that there has been an "accelerated" growth in the use of mobile payment solutions during the Covid-19 pandemic, which has brought potential issues to the attention of the European Commission. In 2016, Vestager ordered Apple to pay Ireland €13bn (£12bn, $15bn) in back taxes - the largest corporate tax fine in history.



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