Germany investigating App Store for alleged anti-competitive behavior

Posted:
in General Discussion edited June 21
Germany's Federal Cartel Office has launched an investigation into Apple's ecosystem and if the App Store allows the company to "influence the business activities" of competitors.

Headquarters of Germany's Bundeskartellamt
Headquarters of Germany's Bundeskartellamt


The Bundeskartellamt, Germany's national competition regulator, has announced that it is to use new powers granted to it regarding the practices of Big Tech companies. Since an amendment to the German Competition Act came into force in January 2021, the regulator has initiated proceedings against Facebook, Amazon, and Google.

"We will now examine whether with its proprietary operating system iOS, Apple has created a digital ecosystem around its iPhone that extends across several markets," said Andreas Mundt, President of the Bundeskartellamt, in a statement. "Apple produces tablets, computers and wearables and provides a host of device-related services."

"In addition to manufacturing various hardware products, the tech company also offers the App Store, iCloud, AppleCare, Apple Music, Apple Arcade, Apple TV+ as well as other services as part of its services business," he continued. "Besides assessing the company's position in these areas, we will, among other aspects, examine its extensive integration across several market levels, the magnitude of its technological and financial resources and its access to data."

"A main focus of the investigations will be on the operation of the App Store as it enables Apple in many ways to influence the business activities of third parties," concluded Mundt.

This is a first proceeding, the major part of which is to determine whether Apple's practices warrant further investigation. The Bundeskartellamt has reportedly received complaints against Apple, including ones from the advertising and media industry which object to App Tracking Transparency.

Apple is currently facing a similar investigation from the European Union, and the Bundeskartellamt says that it will consult with the EU and other competition authorities during its investigation.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 19
    KTRKTR Posts: 114member
    Again with this bull shit? I bet you if apple allow it’s hardware to be cloned,  it will be the same thing.  People want to make money off their devices, but they don’t want to see apple succeed.  Go after Microsoft. The are still a monopoly.  Is there a windows clone? Food for thought 

    killroyopinionwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 19
    Nikon8Nikon8 Posts: 17member
    Microsoft is the true monopoly here. 
    killroyopinionwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 19
    Bundeskartellamt: What do you believe is the antitrust issue with the App Store?
    EU: It's the only store on iOS and it charges a high rate of commission.
    Bundeskartellamt: What is the high rate of commission?
    EU: 30%
    Bundeskartellamt: What does Apple say in support of that approach?
    EU: That it improves security for customers and that R&D for providing annual updates for both hardware/software costs money.
    Bundeskartellamt: Have they provided proof that iOS improves security?
    EU: Yes.
    Bundeskartellamt: Is Apple the only company that charges a rate that high?
    EU: No, many other major tech companies charge 30%.
    Bundeskartellamt: Is that rate of commission unusual outside of tech companies?
    EU: No.
    Bundeskartellamt: What is the complaint against Apple?
    EU: Spotify has complained that Apple charges them 30% commission and can release a competing product on iOS that isn't paying a commission.
    Bundeskartellamt: What has happened to Spotify's business during the time Apple has done this?
    EU: It's rapidly expanded.
    Bundeskartellamt: What percentage of Spotify's revenue is impacted by Apple's commission?
    EU: About 1%. 
    Bundeskartellamt: And that's the 30% commission?
    EU: No, that's the 15% commission.
    Bundeskartellamt: ???
    pumpkin_kingwilliamlondongenovelleseanboy81pichaeltmaythtkillroyradarthekatDogperson
  • Reply 4 of 19
    Hey, let's all jump on the bandwagon, otherwise we might suffer in the polls. Oh, and fuck the consumer.
    pichaelwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 19
    genovellegenovelle Posts: 1,221member
    Bundeskartellamt: What do you believe is the antitrust issue with the App Store?
    EU: It's the only store on iOS and it charges a high rate of commission.
    Bundeskartellamt: What is the high rate of commission?
    EU: 30%
    Bundeskartellamt: What does Apple say in support of that approach?
    EU: That it improves security for customers and that R&D for providing annual updates for both hardware/software costs money.
    Bundeskartellamt: Have they provided proof that iOS improves security?
    EU: Yes.
    Bundeskartellamt: Is Apple the only company that charges a rate that high?
    EU: No, many other major tech companies charge 30%.
    Bundeskartellamt: Is that rate of commission unusual outside of tech companies?
    EU: No.
    Bundeskartellamt: What is the complaint against Apple?
    EU: Spotify has complained that Apple charges them 30% commission and can release a competing product on iOS that isn't paying a commission.
    Bundeskartellamt: What has happened to Spotify's business during the time Apple has done this?
    EU: It's rapidly expanded.
    Bundeskartellamt: What percentage of Spotify's revenue is impacted by Apple's commission?
    EU: About 1%. 
    Bundeskartellamt: And that's the 30% commission?
    EU: No, that's the 15% commission.
    Bundeskartellamt: ???
    Exactly! Dumbest reasoning ever. This is Spotify who by the way is mostly owned by the major labels and Epic who is 40% owned by China. Oh, and let’s not forget Microsoft, who owns 90% of the computer OS market. 
    edited June 21 pichaeltmaykillroyDogpersonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 19
    I can personally attest to the fact that Apple has influenced my business activities. As in "We need you to remove a feature that we feel is too powerful for regular people."
    elijahgwilliamlondonkillroy
  • Reply 7 of 19
    killroykillroy Posts: 121member
    Is covid draining their brain?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 19
    mcdavemcdave Posts: 1,683member
    Bundeskartellamt: What do you believe is the antitrust issue with the App Store?
    EU: It's the only store on iOS and it charges a high rate of commission.
    Bundeskartellamt: What is the high rate of commission?
    EU: 30%
    Bundeskartellamt: What does Apple say in support of that approach?
    EU: That it improves security for customers and that R&D for providing annual updates for both hardware/software costs money.
    Bundeskartellamt: Have they provided proof that iOS improves security?
    EU: Yes.
    Bundeskartellamt: Is Apple the only company that charges a rate that high?
    EU: No, many other major tech companies charge 30%.
    Bundeskartellamt: Is that rate of commission unusual outside of tech companies?
    EU: No.
    Bundeskartellamt: What is the complaint against Apple?
    EU: Spotify has complained that Apple charges them 30% commission and can release a competing product on iOS that isn't paying a commission.
    Bundeskartellamt: What has happened to Spotify's business during the time Apple has done this?
    EU: It's rapidly expanded.
    Bundeskartellamt: What percentage of Spotify's revenue is impacted by Apple's commission?
    EU: About 1%. 
    Bundeskartellamt: And that's the 30% commission?
    EU: No, that's the 15% commission.
    Bundeskartellamt: ???
    Why are you trying to apply rationalism to politics? Like most of the West the EU controls its population by giving them choices where the options are predetermined. Apple‘s business model stands against this human contempt, highlights it’s ineffectiveness, and is therefore a threat. Every democratic state will be doing the same.
    edited June 21 watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 19
    The worst offender is HP. My HP printer won't allow third party printer cartridge. It won't even allow ink refill of HP cartridge. 
    KTRwilliamlondonradarthekatopinion
  • Reply 10 of 19
    KTRKTR Posts: 114member
    The worst offender is HP. My HP printer won't allow third party printer cartridge. It won't even allow ink refill of HP cartridge. 
    That reminded me of when apple made the style writer II.  You could use Hp ink and apple ink 
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 19
    I can personally attest to the fact that Apple has influenced my business activities. As in "We need you to remove a feature that we feel is too powerful for regular people."
    "I can personally" meaning "the exception defines the rule."

    FFS, go back to school and learn some fucking logic.

    Plus, stop your transparent hatred of Apple, it's boring and childish.
    ericthehalfbeeradarthekatlkruppfastasleepkillroywatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 19
    crowleycrowley Posts: 8,176member
    I can personally attest to the fact that Apple has influenced my business activities. As in "We need you to remove a feature that we feel is too powerful for regular people."
    "I can personally" meaning "the exception defines the rule."
    What rule?
  • Reply 13 of 19
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,270member
    Germany is now ‘investigating’. Sure, why not, the more the merrier. The party is in full swing so pour yourself a drink, mingle with the crowd, maybe you’ll score a fine German wench. 
    killroy
  • Reply 14 of 19
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,270member
    I can personally attest to the fact that Apple has influenced my business activities. As in "We need you to remove a feature that we feel is too powerful for regular people.”
    Your street cred is nonexistent here. No one believes a word you write. You’re just a run-of-the-mill Apple hater not worth the effort.
    killroywatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 19
    I can personally attest to the fact that Apple has influenced my business activities. As in "We need you to remove a feature that we feel is too powerful for regular people."
    "I can personally" meaning "the exception defines the rule."

    FFS, go back to school and learn some fucking logic.

    Plus, stop your transparent hatred of Apple, it's boring and childish.
    "The exception that proves the rule" came from a time when a now less-common meaning of the word "prove" was widely recognised. Think of "proving ground." The original intent of the phrase was to cast doubt on the applicability of a rule; any exception means the rule is more accurately termed an heuristic.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 19
    KTR said:
    Again with this bull shit? I bet you if apple allow it’s hardware to be cloned,  it will be the same thing.  People want to make money off their devices, but they don’t want to see apple succeed.  Go after Microsoft. The are still a monopoly.  Is there a windows clone? Food for thought 

    Experts in several large nations (independently):
    “We are researching Apple’s policies re. App Store for anti-competitive behavior”

    An AppleInsider forum user: “(*crying and *kicking*) - Don’t touch my precious Apple!”

    Get used to it. Times are changing for the better. 
    avon b7
  • Reply 17 of 19
    opinionopinion Posts: 13member
    It can not be said to many times, why isn´t Microsoft up for a investigation? They are dominant in so many areas without being questioned and are rather seen as "standard". In many cases tax payers are fueling the business of Microsoft when municipalities, public institutions etc has a strict Windows only policy without even bother to once in a while look into the alternatives or having a system which allows people with Macs, Linux-PC:s, Windows-PC:s or whatever users prefer and do their best work in. It is making me sick.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 19
    genovellegenovelle Posts: 1,221member
    KTR said:
    Again with this bull shit? I bet you if apple allow it’s hardware to be cloned,  it will be the same thing.  People want to make money off their devices, but they don’t want to see apple succeed.  Go after Microsoft. The are still a monopoly.  Is there a windows clone? Food for thought 

    Experts in several large nations (independently):
    “We are researching Apple’s policies re. App Store for anti-competitive behavior”

    An AppleInsider forum user: “(*crying and *kicking*) - Don’t touch my precious Apple!”

    Get used to it. Times are changing for the better. 
    Please explain how a poor customer experience and worse security and features is better. Actual long term Apple buyers have lived in a world where Apple depended completely on 3rd parties for software to run on their platform. They were going out of business and would not exist today if they had not changed.  

    Developers only began to focus on Apple platforms when Apple makes their own. Apple’s success or even the threat of becoming successful making their own solutions makes other companies continue to invest in development. 

    So, unless these countries intend to force all developers to invest equally with feature parity in all competing platforms, this is bad policy. 

    The same goes for making a competing product. Apple has transformed numerous industries and made them viable after sometimes a decade of failures by others. So, there are a number of advancements that would have gone no where if Apple had not made the change. 

    Basically the phone that made smart phones what they are today would have been illegal and could not have been released. The appeal of IPhone was A device with a phone, an iPod, a camera, the internet in your pocket. 

    The full solution is what allowed the masses to embrace it. These politicians are being paid by lobbyists working for companies who want to exploit Apple customers without limit and without paying Apple to get the customers in the first place. 
    edited June 22 watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 19
    lkrupp said:
    I can personally attest to the fact that Apple has influenced my business activities. As in "We need you to remove a feature that we feel is too powerful for regular people.”
    Your street cred is nonexistent here. No one believes a word you write. You’re just a run-of-the-mill Apple hater not worth the effort.
    If I hated Apple, I wouldn't waste my time. Apple is a company I love and have for decades. I have loved personal computing for the same amount of time. Apple and other large tech companies are moving in a dangerous direction. They want to take the power of personal computing away from regular people and keep it for themselves. A manager from the Apple App Store told me this directly.

    There is a second danger which is that people pick sides far too easily and then refuse to accept any dissenting views. No company, person or group is perfect. All could use some criticism when they do things which harm others. That includes Apple. 
    edited June 22 CheeseFreeze
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