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EU launches antitrust investigation into Apple

June 16, 2020

The European Union has opened investigations into Apple's App Store, as well as its payment platform, with the company accused of stifling competition. The tech giant says the case rests on "baseless" claims.

An iPhone with a simulated Apple Pay screen
Image: picture-alliance/J. Arriens

European Union authorities on Tuesday said they had opened antitrust investigations into Apple's App Store and Apple Pay over concerns that the company was guilty of stifling competition.

The European Commission said it launched an official investigation of Apple Pay after allegations that the tech giant had, in some cases, refused to allow access to the payment system. Apple was also accused of limiting access for some firms to the "tap and go" function on iPhones.

EU Executive Vice President Margrethe Vestager said "it appears that Apple obtained a 'gatekeeper' role when it comes to the distribution of apps and content to users of Apple's popular devices."

Vestager said it appeared that Apple had set conditions on how Apple Pay should be used in merchants' apps and websites. "It is important that Apple's measures do not deny consumers the benefits of new payment technologies,"she added.

Apple calls out companies after 'free ride'

Apple criticized the investigation and said it was based on groundless complaints from a few companies.

"It's disappointing the European Commission is advancing baseless complaints from a handful of companies who simply want a free ride, and don't want to play by the same rules as everyone else," the iPhone maker said in a statement.

"We don't think that's right — we want to maintain a level playing field where anyone with determination and a great idea can succeed."

rc/aw (Reuters, AP, dpa)

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