Apple cannot seem to catch a break as it enters into a new conflict, this time with the UK government. The government has announced that the Competition and Marketing Authority (CMA) will respond to complaints that the App Store might be breaking competition law by launching an investigation into “anti-competitive behavior.”
Apple Finds Itself Butting Heads with the UK Government
While this is not the first time Apple finds itself involved in such an issue, this surely serves as the most notable in the larger context of several issues that the European Union has had with the American company, which will bring a larger campaign against the App Store by Epic Games, developer of Fortnite.
“The CMA’s investigation will consider whether Apple has a dominant position in connection with the distribution of apps on Apple devices in the UK – and, if so, whether Apple imposes unfair or anti-competitive terms on developers using the App Store, ultimately resulting in users having less choice or paying higher prices for apps and add-ons.”
Apple UK Limited, Apple Europe Limited, and Apple Inc, the parent U.S. company will all be present in the mix as the investigation will look at Apple as a corporate entity as it relates to the UK.
While the name of the developer has not been cited explicitly, it is safe to say that the largest reason behind this happens to be Epic Games. We are also already aware of Apple’s beef with Spotify, where the Swedish company claimed that Apple enforces App Store rules that “purposely limit choice and stifle innovation at the expense of the user experience.” So that makes two of the more prominent companies having an issue with the App Store. The official statement by Chief Executive Andrea Coscelli says,
“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”
“Our ongoing examination into digital markets has already uncovered some worrying trends. We know that businesses, as well as consumers, may suffer real harm if anti-competitive practices by big tech go unchecked. That’s why we’re pressing on with setting up the new Digital Markets Unit and launching new investigations wherever we have grounds to do so.”
More into the entire statement can be found here. Epic Games’ fight with the Cupertino giant is going to court later this year and with the announcement by the CMA, we only see a possibility that the company might be answerable in more than just one country.
“The European Commission (EC) currently has four open antitrust probes into Apple, which were launched prior to the end of the UK’s Transition Period. These include three open investigations into Apple’s App Store. The CMA continues to coordinate closely with the EC, as well as other agencies, to tackle these global concerns.”