Brussels (AP) - The EU Commission is targeting the US company Apple because of possible distortions of competition. The Brussels authorities announced that they had launched an antitrust investigation into the terms of the Apple Pay payment program.
In a second procedure, she wants to investigate the accusation of the music service Spotify that Apple charges excessive commissions in its app store.
Apple Pay is a program for iPhones and iPads for mobile payments on the Internet, but also in retail. After a preliminary assessment, the Commission has stated that Apple's terms and conditions are distorting competition and reducing consumer choice. Apple Pay is also the only solution for mobile payments with which the so-called "tap and go" near-field communication can be used by Apple devices for payments in shops.
"Apple apparently sets conditions for using Apple Pay in commercial apps and on websites," said EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager. "Apple's measures must not withhold the benefits of new payment technologies from consumers."
In the second procedure, the commission wants to check, among other things, whether Apple's rules for developers selling apps via the app store violate EU competition law. In addition, the competition watchdogs want to keep an eye on restrictions, according to which app developers are not allowed to inform users about alternative and often cheaper purchase options outside the apps.
"It appears that Apple has assumed the role of a" gatekeeper "in the distribution of apps and content to users of the popular Apple devices," said Vestager. It had to be ensured that this would not lead to distortions of competition.
Music streaming market leader Spotify submitted an official complaint to the EU Commission in March 2019. Among other things, the company argued that it was at a disadvantage because it had to hand over 30 percent of the proceeds to Apple for subscription contracts within the iPhone app. The platform operator itself, however, can keep the entire amount with its own streaming service Apple Music. An e-book and audio book provider had also complained to the EU competition authorities about the app store rules.