Apple Faces Two EU Antitrust Probes on App Store and Apple Pay

Apple is facing two European Union antitrust probes into whether it violated competition laws through its Apple Pay service and its App Store.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

Apple  (AAPL) - Get Report is facing two separate European Union antitrust probes into whether it violated competition laws through its Apple Pay service and its App Store for software that runs on its mobile devices.

In two separate statements, EU antitrust regulators revealed the two new probes, which will look at Apple’s terms, conditions and other measures for Apple Pay and how it curbs access to near-field communication for “tap and go” payment in stores.

The EU’s separate investigation into Apple’s App store will examine the company’s mandatory use of its in-app purchase system, as well as purported efforts to keep developers from steering users to cheaper alternatives.

The probes follow complaints from music-streaming service Spotify Technology  (SPOT) - Get Report, which last year filed an antitrust complaint with the EU against Apple over allegedly restrictive rules on music streaming through its apps, as well as e-books and audiobooks.

“Apple sets the rules for the distribution of apps to users of iPhones and iPads,” EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a statement. 

“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,” she said, adding that the probes are a “priority.”

Apple has defended its practice of taking a 30% cut of sales through the App Store. The company denied hurting rivals and said it wants apps that compete with its services to thrive.

If found guilty, Apple could face a fine of up to 10% of its annual revenue and be forced to adjust its business practices.

Shares of Apple were up 2.5% at $351.56 in trading on Tuesday.