After receiving complaints filed by music-streaming service Spotify and an audio book distributor, the European Commission formally opened an investigation into Apple. The Commission is looking into whether Apple’s rules for app developers on the distribution of apps through the App Store violate the EU’s competition rules.
More specifically, the investigation focuses on:
- Apple’s mandatory in-app purchase system “IAP” whereby Apple receives a 30% commission from app developers on all subscription fees and
- Restrictions on app developers’ ability to let users know about alternative purchase options, many of which are less expensive that purchasing the app through IAP.
The Commission’s investigation is looking at the possible impact of these practices on competition in music streaming and audio/e-books and whether the practices could harm consumers in restricting product choice and price options. The investigation is likely to continue for several months, although there is no legal deadline for bringing an investigation to a close.
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