Last year, EU regulators began a probe into Apple charging a 30-per cent in-app fee to distribute paid digital content.
Apple has found itself in the middle of an antitrust challenge for alleged abuse of its dominant market position in India, Reuters reported citing a source and documents. The antitrust case alleges that Apple forces app developers to use its in-app purchase system and takes a hefty cut in return.
FE Online has not independently verified the documents. We have reached out to Apple for a comment and will update this piece accordingly.
Apple is facing a similar challenge in the European Union. Last year, EU regulators began a probe into Apple charging a 30-per cent in-app fee to distribute paid digital content.
Rajasthan-based non-profit Together We Fight Society has filed the challenge and argued that the 30-per cent fee raised costs for both developers and customers, hurt competition, and acted as a barrier to entering the market.
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) is expected to review the case shortly and could order a wider probe or dismiss it if it finds no merit, a source told Reuters.
The Reuters source said it was possible that the CCI would order a probe because the EU has already been investigating this.
Only 2 per cent of India’s 520 million smartphones carried Apple’s iOS by the end of 2020, according to Counterpoint Research data. However, the Cupertino-based tech giant’s India smartphone base has more than doubled in five years.
The India case also claims that Apple’s restrictions on developer-consumer communication on payment solutions are anti-competitive. The petitioner has also alleged that this move hurts Indian payment processors that take a much lower service charge at 1-5 per cent.
Earlier this week, South Korea’s National Assembly approved a bill that banned app store operators such as Apple and Google from restricting app developers to their proprietary payment systems.
The CCI is already conducting a probe against Google for a similar violation after Indian start-ups voiced concern over its in-app payments fee. The CCI investigation, which is still ongoing, is part of a broader antitrust probe into Google.