“A main focus of the investigations will be on the operation of the App Store.” — Andreas Mundt, President of the Bundeskartellamt
President Mundt’s remarks, from the Bundeskartellamt’s press release:
We will now examine whether with its proprietary operating system iOS, Apple has created a digital ecosystem around its iPhone that extends across several markets. Apple produces tablets, computers and wearables and provides a host of device-related services. In addition to manufacturing various hardware products, the tech company also offers the App Store, iCloud, AppleCare, Apple Music, Apple Arcade, Apple TV+ as well as other services as part of its services business. Besides assessing the company’s position in these areas, we will, among other aspects, examine its extensive integration across several market levels, the magnitude of its technological and financial resources and its access to data. A main focus of the investigations will be on the operation of the App Store as it enables Apple in many ways to influence the business activities of third parties.
My take: I think we all know what he’s going to find. Note that Apple is the fourth U.S.-based tech megacap to come under the scrutiny of the Bundeskartellamt, following Facebook (28 January 2021), Amazon (18 May 2021) and Google (25 May 2021). I wonder if the others looked like lower hanging fruit.