Across the Channel, the commissions demanded by Apple on its application store could cause many worries for the American giant.
Apple's application store is once again in the crosshairs of justice. On the other side of the Channel this time, where the British competition gendarme has just opened an investigation into the American giant follows complaints that its terms and conditions for application developers are unfair and anti-competitive.
Currently, app developers cannot publish and distribute an app to an Apple mobile device without using the Apple App Store. Developers who provide "in-app" functionality, additions, or updates are required to use Apple's payment system, rather than another system. Apple also charges developers a commission of up to 30% on the value of those transactions or each time a consumer purchases their app.
"The investigation will examine whether Apple has a dominant position in relation to the distribution of applications to Apple devices in the UK and, if so, whether Apple imposes unfair or anti-competitive terms on developers who use the App Store. Which means that users have less choice or pay higher prices for apps and add-ons,”says the UK Competition Authority.
"This is only the beginning of the investigation and no decision has yet been taken on whether Apple is breaking the law," however, recalls the competition officer. Still, this survey will not be the only one to weigh on the future of Apple's application store.
Reuters also reports that regulators in the Netherlands are set to adopt a draft ruling on Apple regarding rules that require software developers to use its in-app payment system.
While similar work is being done around the world, including the United States, Australia is also looking at app markets, primarily concerned with their transparency in data use, competitiveness, and also the type of applications they make available for download. Australian parliamentarians have also just auditioned the management of the Match group, specializing in dating applications including Tinder or OkCupid.
Google also targeted
According to one of the heads of this group, the current app store market, which functions as "two monopolies side by side", seriously, prevents companies from serving consumers and offering them "the latest and most innovative features developed by the fintech community. “Basically, each has its own monopoly. And between the two, there are no other alternatives,” he regretted. The latter also pointed the finger at Google, which also pushes developers to exclusively use its integrated payment system.
Google announced late last year that it would follow Apple's approach and require digital apps to exclusively use its integrated payment system, which MrBuse says also means paying the 30% of fees imposed by Apple.
"These requirements lock-in competition from fintech payment providers. They also prevent app developers like Match from interacting directly with our consumers and give the app store unnecessary access to significant amounts of consumer data," regretted the leader of the group. A complaint that should not be the only one as the business begins to pile up for the two digital giants.