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 January 11

WhatsApp data sharing with Facebook prompts antitrust investigation in Turkey

We learned last week that WhatsApp data sharing with Facebook would become a condition of use for users outside of Europe. This was the final element in a two-stage U-turn by the company, which has now prompted a new antitrust investigation in Turkey …

Antitrust Stories December 23, 2020

Eligible developers are now beginning to receive their App Store Small Business Program confirmation emails from Apple after submitting their applications earlier in the month.

The iPhone maker launched the program to help it fend off antitrust pressure, by halving the commission rate on the apps sold by most developers from 30% to 15% …

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Antitrust Stories December 18, 2020

Apple Pay antitrust pressure is growing as the coronavirus crisis has boosted the popularity of contactless payment in general, and Apple’s mobile wallet service in particular.

Contactless cards have a relatively low limit, above which the card needs to be inserted into the terminal and a PIN used. Apple Pay, in contrast, qualifies for very much higher limits or no limits at all, allowing contactless payment for even major purchases …

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Antitrust Stories December 15, 2020

We’ve known for some time that Apple along with the other tech giants have been on the European Commission’s “hit list” of companies it wants to regulate more tightly. Now, new legislation has been proposed in the EU that could mean serious changes to how Apple runs the App Store and its preinstalled, first-party apps.

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Antitrust Stories December 10, 2020

The maker of Cydia, the first unofficial app store for jailbroken iOS devices, has filed a lawsuit against Apple. As reported by The Washington Post, the lawsuit was filed today, and it alleges that Apple has used anticompetitive practices to establish an illegal monopoly over iOS app distribution.

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Antitrust Stories December 9, 2020

Apple app privacy labels have been described as unfair by Facebook-owned secure messaging service WhatsApp.

Apple has told developers they must add the privacy labels to their apps, which disclose the data they capture, and how that data is used …

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