There are growing concerns that Apple could be facing an antitrust App Store investigation by the United States Department of Justice. They have had multiple complaints and lawsuits filed recently over “business killing” practices related to how it treats developers.

Since the beginning of The App Store, Apple has taken a 70/30 split with developers on paid apps. With subscriptions, they take 30% the first year, and then it drops to 15% for following years. This commission is at the heart of possible antitrust violations over The App Store.

A major lawsuit against Apple and its App Store will be allowed to move forward, the United States Supreme Court has decided, affirming the Ninth Circuit’s ruling. The lawsuit relates to Apple’s requirement that apps distributed on the iPhone go through the App Store which is controlled by the iPhone (which forces developers to pay the 30% commission).

The argument against Apple in part is that Apple’s App Store requirement is monopolistic, enabling the company to impose unfair fees on developers which in turn get passed on to consumers. In some cases, developers don’t have a 30% margin to even give (companies they resell content generally operate at razor thin margins).

Apple asked that the lawsuit be thrown out last fall when the Supreme Court heard arguments from both sides before ultimately deciding to allow the lawsuit to continue. Apple previously appealed a lower court decision that ruled against the company in the lawsuit.

The lawsuit against Apple was not thrown out and the Supreme Court has decided to allow the lawsuit to move forward. This means the lawsuit will return to the court system and could eventually lead to a decision that forces Apple to change its App Store business model and policies.

This lawsuit is on top of the Apple Music EU probe that Spotify has been granted. According to Financial Times, The European Union is set to  launch a formal probe into Apple over Apple Music and Spotify.

After considering the complaint and surveying customers, rivals and others in the market, the EU competition commission has decided to launch a formal antitrust investigation into Apple’s conduct, according to three people familiar with the probe.

Both Spotify and Apple declined to comment on the rumors, but these probes can take years to complete, so it’s likely we won’t know anything for some time.

Follow our guide for all the latest news into possible App Store antitrust violations against Apple.

Antitrust Stories February 4

The United States Justice Department has reportedly reached out to top app developers as it investigates Apple over potential anticompetitive behavior. Reuters reports that a “handful” of app developers have been contacted by the DOJ as part of this investigation.

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Antitrust Stories January 24

Two US presidential candidates want tech giants broken up, rest mumble vaguely

Two of the nine leading US presidential candidates have called for the break-up of tech giants, while the rest have essentially mumbled vaguely that “something needs to be done”…

Antitrust Stories January 17

Smart tag maker Tile will today testify against Apple in the latest hearing of the House Judiciary Committee’s antitrust subcommittee.

Apple is working on its own Tile-like tracking device, likely to be called AirTag, and Tile isn’t happy about it…

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Antitrust Stories December 10, 2019

Europe says it may need to take tougher antitrust action against tech giants

The European Commission has indicated that it may have to take far tougher antitrust action against tech giants, as fining them and giving them time to make changes may not be adequate…

Antitrust Stories November 15, 2019

A new German law passed yesterday requires Apple to allow other mobile payments services access to the iPhone’s NFC chip for payments to allow them to fully compete with Apple Pay.

Apple initially completely locked down the NFC chip so that it could be used only by Apple Pay. It later allowed some third-party apps to use the chip but has always refused to do so for other mobile payment apps…

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Antitrust Stories October 24, 2019

The Justice Department has made a big-name hire for its tech giant antitrust investigation team. Although the government has consistently declined to name the companies under investigation, it is widely believed that they include Apple, Google and Facebook.

The latest senior hire from the private sector is a specialist in antitrust cases …

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