App StoreSource: Joe Keller / iMore

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."