Once again, Apple has been the subject of a complaint antitrust in the framework of the european regulation, filed last march by Kobo. This is followed by the effect because the european Commission said it had opened two investigations on the american giant.
A complaint was filed by Kobo, the subsidiary of the digital book of the japanese giant Rakuten, to denounce the commissions amounting to 30% taken by Apple on the App Store. The user wishing to make a purchase on the application is required to go through the payment tool of Apple. The european Union has now decided to investigate the conditions of use of the App Store, and Apple Pay.
This is not the first time that the firm of Cupertino is the object of trust claims in the context of european regulations. In fact, Spotify had also denounced these same unfair practices.
Kindle had found the parade to avoid this “tax Apple” : its application for iOS devices only allows the reading of his ebooks, the purchase is not possible. The system is so locked that there is no way to generate a link to log out of the application in order to be able to make a purchase.
The consumer is ultimately the one who ends up penalized in all cases, either by an operation that is not optimal, either by the complement of the price that he should pay on the final bill.
A competitive issue and commercial
The challenge in this case is both competitive and commercial, since Apple has its own platform for selling ebooks and can thus encourage the sale of its own products by increasing the price of output of his competitors.
“We need to ensure that the rules Apple does not distort competition on the markets where the company competes with other developers of applications, for example with its service of music-streaming Apple Music or Apple Books. So I decided to examine closely the rules of the Apple App Store and their compliance with the competition rules of the Union. “said Margrethe Vestager, the Vice-president of the commission responsible for competition.
The european Commission will focus in particular on the commission of 30% imposed on developers of applications on the App Store for any purchase, but also knew the fact that it is prohibited for these same developers to tell their prospect that he had other means of purchase outside of the application.
Apple obviously has made known its disagreement to the current proceedings, stating : “It is disappointing that the european Commission ahead of the complaints unfounded on the part of a handful of companies that simply want to take advantage of the situation without paying or playing by the same rules as the rest of the world. We do not believe that this is fair. “
After he was sentenced recently by justice French on the wrong interpretation of the concept of personal data as defined by the RGPD, we’ll see if Apple is also retoqué on the policy of use for its App Store.