The oddity of a former regulator filing a complaint is likely explained by the fact that the individual in question is now a freelance consultant …
Apple is facing a huge number of antitrust investigations and lawsuits around the world, with the App Store the primary focus.
Apple argues that it does not have a dominant position in this market, as it considers the relevant market to be either “smartphones” or “apps.” Since the company holds a minority share of the smartphone market in most of the countries in which it operates, it believes it cannot be considered to have a dominant position.
Competition regulators tend to take the view that the relevant market is “iOS apps,” and here Apple has a 100% monopoly on their sale and distribution. Edge cases aside, there is no way for a developer to bring an iOS app to market without selling it through the App Store.
Companies like Epic Games argue that they should be allowed to sell in-app purchases without Apple taking a cut of their revenue. The argument here is that Apple harms developers by taking part of their income, and consumers by forcing developers to charge more to make up for Apple’s cut. Apple, in response, says that it is perfectly normal for a company to take a cut of the sales it facilitates.
Mexican Apple antitrust complaint
Reuters reports that both Apple and Google are targeted in this fresh complaint.
Apple and Google are facing a probe over anti-competitive practices in Mexico after the country’s former telecommunications chief filed a complaint, he said in a statement on Twitter on Friday.
The complaint was brought to Mexico’s telecommunications regulator IFT yesterday by Mony de Swaan Addati, who once headed the former telecommunications federation that was later replaced by IFT.
His complaint accuses Apple and Google of “completely inhibit(ing) competition” by “taking advantage of their monopoly in app stores to tie use of their own payment processing systems for in-app purchases.”
In addition to the duopoly complaint, Addati also suggests that the fees fuel inflation.
Addati had previously filed his complaint with Mexico’s competition watchdog, which rejected it. He has now re-filed it with the telecoms regulator.
“I have full confidence that (the IFT) will investigate and exercise its powers – in line with international best practices – so that these companies stop abusing their market power to the detriment of developers and consumers,” he said.
There’s nothing unusual about an antitrust complaint alleging that the App Store fees charged by Apple and Google are an abuse of a dominant market position.
What is unusual is a complaint being filed by a former regulator. The explanation is likely found in the fact that Addati is now a freelance telecoms consultant, and that he has submitted his complaint on behalf of a client.
That’s certainly an epic move, and there’s something almost meta about it. Can’t think who could be behind it, though.
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