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The European Union has opened an investigation into the rules of the App Store and Apple Pay. The decision comes after Apple received a complaint about the 30% commission of the App Store from Kobo, a subsidiary of Rakuten, which considers Apple’s commission on the price of ebooks to be monopolistic. In the investigation the European Union will take into account three other complaints launched in the past .
Four complaints opening an investigation
As reported by the Financial Times, Kobo exposes that having to pay a 30% profit on e-book sales makes it difficult for them to make a profit. They also explain that Apple Books does not have to pay this commission.
The lawsuit will probably sound very similar to the one Spotify filed a little over a year ago. In that case, the Swedish company believed that paying the equivalent of 10 million euros a year, that is to say 0.2% of its income, was unfair .
The investigation will also cover complaints from Tile, the manufacturer of item tracking devices, who is denouncing Apple in anticipation of the California company’s release of the rumored AirTags, a product that has never been officially confirmed .
Finally, the research will also cover the use of the NFC chip. The chip responsible for Apple Pay of which Apple has repeated on multiple occasions that is not open to third party applications for security reasons .
“It is disappointing that the European Union is dealing with unfounded complaints”
Apple’s response to the European Union is clear and concise:
In the first two demands, and leaving aside the commission percentage, both companies seem to have forgotten that running an app store is not free. There is a lot of infrastructure, servers, technicians and even marketing to make the App Store what it is today. An ecosystem that has helped generate more than $519 billion between developers and companies in 2019 alone .
Undoubtedly, after seeing how Apple Pay works, or the rumored CarKey, we can say that it is very sensitive information that is managed by the NFC chip. It is noteworthy that the European Union intends to investigate Apple to ensure the security of our data. A case that repeats itself with the management that makes the system of indiscriminate access of the apps to the location services like the one that Tile uses to offer its services.
On AppleSome video apps can “dodge” the 30% commission in exchange for features on the Apple TV app
Although the European Union has announced that it agrees to investigate Apple, it is expected that the results of this investigation may take several years. An investigation that we hope will not forget that it is Apple, with its money and dedication, who has created its platforms, platforms that, for their own existence, have to have some rules .
UPDATE: Here is the complete official Apple statement.
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