On Monday, Germany’s antitrust organization stated that they would be launching an investigation into Apple as they are alleged of exploiting their market dominance and the size of their market share. These same investigations were also carried out with Apple’s Rivals, including Google, Facebook & Amazon.
In accordance with the new competition laws, Germany’s Federal Cartel Office (FCO) would initially evaluate if Apple holds a “Paramount significance across markets” as a first step.
Germany’s Federal Cartel Office (FCO) is a government body that is responsible for regulating competition amongst different companies and businesses. It is responsible for controlling laws related to competition in Germany. It plays a vital role in maintaining fair competition amongst companies and avoiding monopolistic market practices. It also introduces laws against suspicious business activities that tarnish a fair & competitive market.
After taking the first step, the (FCO) “intends to assess in more detail specific practices of Apple in a possible further proceeding. In this regard, the authority has received various complaints relating to potentially anti-competitive practices.”
The FCO also stated that the complaint registered against Apple came from an organization in the advertising industry. They also stated this complaint was filed regarding Apple controlling the user tracking with their latest iOS 14.5 Operating System update.
A person representing Apple did state on this topic: “We look forward to discussing our approach with the FCO and having an open dialogue about any of their concerns.” The spokesperson also added that Apple’s store has constantly provided an equal opportunity for many German developers of all sizes.
Apart from that, the investigation will also examine complaints of Apple pre-installing their own applications on its devices and investigate complaints regarding Apple’s in-app purchases.
Is Apple infringing these antitrust laws, or is it not? This discussion can only be justifiably answered by the results of the FCO’s thorough investigation.