Investigation of Apple's Domination Through iPhone and iOS Begins to Open
Investigation of Apple's Domination Through iPhone and iOS Begins to Open

Investigation of Apple’s Domination Through iPhone and iOS Begins to Open

The German Federal Cartel Office launched an issue to determine whether Apple had established market dominance by creating a digital ecosystem centered around its iPhone and iOS.

The probe concludes a quartet of investigations launched by regulators into the top four technologies in 2021, with Facebook, Amazon and Google also facing the heat.

Germany is improving governance of big tech companies, with a new law giving cartel offices the ability to bar large companies across markets from engaging in anti-competitive practices.

The regulator says it aims to determine the significance of Apple’s activities across sectors, examining whether its iOS digital ecosystem has led to market dominance.

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Andreas Mundt, the agency’s president, noted Apple manufactures many hardware products in addition to services including the App Store, iCloud, Apple Music, and Apple TV.

The regulator said it would assess Apple’s position in the area and explore “the magnitude of its technological and financial resources and access to data”.

The main focus of the investigation will be on the operation of the App Store because it allows Apple “in many ways to influence the business activities of third parties,” Mundt said.

Based on its findings, the regulator said it would look into complaints filed by others, including the European Commission, about issues such as in-app purchase fees, user tracking in the new iOS 14.5 update, and Apple’s ongoing dispute with Spotify.

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Germany’s move comes after Britain launched a study on the dominance of Apple and Google in various sectors last week.

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