Germany considering App Store inquiry, watching Epic Games case 'very closely'

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What you need to know

  • Germany says it is watching Apple's case against Epic Games very closely.
  • The Federal Cartel Office says the case has "most certainly attracted our interest."
  • A report says Germany is considering opening its own inquiry into Apple.

Germany authorities say they are watching Apple's case against Epic Games with great interest, amidst reports it could open its own investigation.

According to Reuters:

Germany's antitrust watchdog is following closely a legal row over Apple's App Store payment terms, saying on Wednesday it could in principle open a national inquiry.

Andreas Mundt, head of the Federal Cartel office reportedly said "This has most certainly attracted our interest. We are at the beginning, but we are looking at this very closely."

The report notes:

Mundt told an online briefing that Apple's App Store and the Play Store that serves smartphones running on Google's Android operating system represented an "interesting habitat because they are the only two worldwide".

Whilst the authority in question can impose fines on companies, it is more interested in probes that can establish abuses of market dominance before implementing changes. The report notes how it last year reached an agreement with Amazon and forced Facebook to curb its data collection.

Alongside Epic's lawsuit against Apple, the Cupertino company also faces two separate EU investigations into both its App Store and Apple Pay, from that report:

VP Margrethe Vestager said "it appears that Apple sets the conditions on how Apple Pay should be used in merchants' apps and websites. It also reserves the "tap and go" functionality of iPhones to Apple Pay. It is important that Apple's measures do not deny consumers the benefits of new payment technologies, including better choice, quality, innovation and competitive prices. I have therefore decided to take a close look at Apple's practices regarding Apple Pay and their impact on competition."

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9