Apple’s antitrust designation means the Cupertino company can continue to price gouge rivals and remain unchecked for five years. As a result, rival electronics companies will likely seek legal action to overturn Apple’s market dominance. In response, the company may have to compete on price instead of features, diminishing its once-dominant position in the industry.
While many companies attempt to control as much of the market as possible, Apple has been incredibly successful in virtually every aspect of the smartphone and tablet industry. This dominance has allowed them to create a platform that is both easy to use and immensely popular with consumers.
Apple’s tight vertical structure and installed base gives the company significant power to set rules for app developers. This power enables Apple to keep its users tightly bound within its complex ecosystem, ensuring that they continue to use its products long after other competitors have been forgotten.
The European Union is still investigating whether or not Amazon, Google, and Facebook meet the market power test, so it’s unclear what their result will be. However, if they are found to have significant market power then they may be subject to higher taxes and regulations which could harm their competitive edge.
The update to the country’s competition regime is likely to put it in line with an incoming pan-EU reboot of the Digital Markets Act, which will see the European Commission designating so-called Internet “gatekeepers”. This could mean that Big Tech companies operating in the country will be subject to a set of up-front operational rules, as opposed to remaining largely outside of government regulation.
“The Bundeskartellamt welcomes Apple’s decision to start offering its music subscriptions in Germany through its own app, instead of using third-party providers. This will improve competition in the music streaming market and make it simpler for consumers to comparison shop.”
Apple has a strong economic position and authority across markets, making it difficult for competitors to gain an equal footing. Consequently, the company faces a variety of challenges, including anti-competitive behavior by its rivals.Apple’s iOS platform and App Store are central to the company’s operations, providing access to its customers and rival businesses alike. As such, Apple can use this dominance to bar anti-competitive behavior from its competitors in a number of ways. By effectively prohibiting anti-competitive practices through restrictive licensing agreements or restrictions on the development of competing products, Apple can ensure that the market is open and competitive for all players.
The designation could mean the FCO is prepared to take action faster, should they see Apple’s platforms and products as a threat to competition. Earlier this year, the FCO released a report warning of the potential dangers of monopolies within markets and how increased competition can benefit consumers. It’s possible that this issue is being looked into further in order to justify future actions.
Although the regulator has not yet announced any findings, it is clear that they are looking into Apple’s App Tracking Transparency (ATT) framework and tracking rules. This indicates that they believe that these rules may be favouring Apple’s own offers, or impeding others from succeeding. This could have a negative impact on competition in the market, so it is important for the company to cooperate with the regulator and answer any questions they have.
Apple may have escaped sanctions from the European Union over its use oftax havens, but that doesn’t mean the company’s practices are without concern. While no decision has been taken yet on further proceedings against Apple, investigations into how it uses tax havens are ongoing and continue to raise eyebrows.
Apple has expressed concern that the FCO’s decision to remove the “Made in Britain” branding from iPhone and iPad productions will have a negative impact on the UK economy. The company claims that many jobs are created through the production of its products,
Apple plans to appeal the court ruling that found Samsung guilty of patent infringement. The Cupertino company believes that its patents are valid and protect its intellectual property. Samsung, on the other hand, disputes Apple’s assertions and argues that most of its patents are not infringed upon by the South Korean manufacturer’s products. This legal battle
Apple has been a staunch advocate for user privacy and security throughout its history, which is why the company was so alarmed by the FCO’s recent decision to designate it as a “terrorist organization.” Apple plans to appeal this decision, as it believes that its business model – which revolves around protecting user data – is essential for innovation and job creation in Germany.