The European Commission refocuses its investigation on Apple’s business practices

In Brussels, regulators have decided to refocus their charges against Apple by specifically attacking the rules imposed by the App Store, which prevent developers from informing their users of alternative purchasing options. Indeed, the investigation concerning in-app payments is set aside for the benefit of this case, the European Commission having formalized the abandonment of the first. In the immediate future, therefore, Apple will not be criticized for forcing developers to use its own in-app payment system.

This is a victory for Apple’s lawyers who, however, will not change much on the merits. Indeed, from next May, the DMA (for Digital Markets Act) will apply in Europe, and will outlaw the practices of which the American firm is accused. Knowing that the law provides for fines of up to 10% of the worldwide turnover of companies violating its principles.

This announcement was also an opportunity for the European Commission to recall that, in its view, the prohibitions imposed by Apple on developers violate European law by creating anti-competitive commercial conditions. It is not normal, according to the regulators, that players such as Netflix, Spotify or Epic Games cannot offer their users to be directed to an alternative payment/subscription system. “This is done to the detriment of users of these services on Apple terminals”says the Commission.

As a reminder, it was Spotify that alerted the Brussels commissioners to Apple’s trade policies, prompting the opening of an investigation by the Commission in April 2021.

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