And if the details look similar to the European Union’s antitrust investigation, it is not a coincidence.
The United Kingdom is investigating the conditions that developers must agree to when creating software for the Apple App Store, along with the commission paid to the company for in-app purchases.
The UK Competition and Market Authority hopes to determine whether Apple’s practices are anti-competitive, although today’s announcement is only a first step in a long regulatory process.
“Millions of us use apps every day to check weather conditions, play a game or order takeaway, so complaints are that Apple is using its market position,” Andrea Coscelli, CEO of the British Competition and Market Authority, said in a statement posted online Thursday morning. Setting conditions that are unfair or may restrict competition and selection – which may cause customers to lose when purchasing and using applications – require scrutiny.
Coselli added: Our continuous examination of digital markets has revealed some worrisome trends, and we know that companies, as well as consumers, may suffer real harm if the anti-competitive practices of large technology companies are not controlled, and this is why we continue to create and launch the new digital market unit. New investigations wherever we have reasons to do so.
The UK antitrust investigation appears to be identical to the one recently announced by the European Union, and the UK Competition and Market Authority’s press release acknowledges this fact.
The UK needs to redouble a lot of investigations like this after leaving the European bloc, which has made British consumers even more vulnerable.
And the UK has far less leverage against Apple after it left the European Union if it wanted Effective sanctions imposed on the California-based tech giant.