The European competition commission is set to hold a press conference today where it will formally announce charges against Apple for anticompetitive behavior regarding the App Store.
Sources suggest that the commission is particularly concerned that Apple does not allow developers to tell users that alternative payment methods are available outside of the native app.
The announcement today is unlikely to include formal punishment, like a fine or requirement for Apple to change its rules immediately. Today’s conference will be the first step in that process.
Apple will be allowed to engage with the commission on the findings before the commission decides if it wants to impose fines or other remedies.
This investigation by the EU dates back to a formal complaint filed by Spotify almost two years ago, which demanded that Apple ‘play fair’.
Apple’s App Store conduct has been the subject of much controversy recently. Apple requires all digital purchases and subscriptions to go through Apple’s In-App Purchase system, which means Apple control the customer relationship and takes 15-30% commission of sales. The current App Store rules do not allow apps to offer alternative payment methods inside the app or even tell users that alternative, cheaper, payment options are available elsewhere.
Governments and regulators around the world are currently investigating whether these rules are monopolistic. Apple begins a high-profile trial with Epic Games over App Store rules next week.
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