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A UK competition observer examines the Apple App Store

LONDON (AP) – British authorities have launched an investigation into the Apple App Store over fears that it has a predominant role in stifling competition and harming consumers.

The Competition Markets Agency said on Thursday it was investigating “suspicious breaches of competition law” by Apple. The announcement adds to the regulatory oversight of the iPhone creator app distribution platform, which is also the subject of three antitrust probes by the EU Executive Committee.

Apple said the App Store was “a safe, secure place for customers” and “a great business opportunity for developers”.

The investigation was launched in part due to complaints from app developers that Apple would only allow their Apps to be distributed to iPhone and iPad users through the App Store. The developers also complained that the company requires the purchase of applications, extensions or upgrades through the Apple Pay system, which charges up to 30% commission.

“Millions of people use the app every day to check the weather, play a game or order an escape,” said Andrea Koselli, the government’s chief executive. “Complaints that Apple is using its market position to impose unfair market conditions that may restrict competition and choice that customers may lose when purchasing or using software require careful scrutiny.”

According to the observer, it will discuss whether Apple has a “dominant position” in the distribution of applications for Apple devices in the UK, and if so, whether the company “imposes unfair or anti-competitive conditions on developers”, which leads to less choice. or higher prices for consumers buying apps և extra.

Apple said it was looking forward to explaining its App Store guidelines to the UK watchdog.

“We believe in thriving, competitive markets where any great idea can thrive,” the company said in an email. “The App Store has been a driver of success for app developers, in part because of our strict standards, which are fairly applied equally to all developers to protect customers from malware and prevent unauthorized data collection without their consent.”

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