The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) launched an investigation into Apple’s conditions for app developers, following claims the terms imposed for its App Store are unfair and anti-competitive.
In a statement, the CMA said it acted following complaints from developers and its own assessments of the digital sector.
The regulator added the investigation would “consider whether Apple has a dominant position in connection with the distribution of apps on Apple devices in the UK and, if so, whether Apple imposes unfair or anti-competitive terms on developers using the App Store, ultimately resulting in users having less choice or paying higher prices for apps and add-ons.”
Its initial timetable for the probe estimates by September 2021 the CMA will have undertaken an initial investigation, gathered information from other parties and conducted a review of the results.
The UK probe is the latest in a mounting number of complaints, court cases and regulatory scrutiny into various aspects of Apple’s rules related to accepting and distributing apps through the App Store, in addition to policies on processing in-app purchases.
Among these, the European Commission has three App Store investigations open, while Fortnite maker Epic Games is set for a long-awaited US court showdown with Apple in May.