Britain’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said on Thursday that it had launched a probe into Apple Inc (AAPL) following allegations the tech giant’s terms and conditions for app developers are anti-competitive and unfair.
The investigation aims to determine whether Apple has a monopoly over app distribution on its devices in the United Kingdom, the competition regulator said.
“Complaints that Apple is using its market position to set terms which are unfair or may restrict competition and choice – potentially causing customers to lose out when buying and using apps – warrant careful scrutiny,” Andrea Coscelli, CEO of the Competition and Markets Authority, said.
App developers are charged a commission of up to 30% on the value of transactions or whenever a user purchases their app.
“The App Store has been an engine of success for app developers, in part because of the rigorous standards we have in place – applied fairly and equally to all developers – to protect customers from malware and to prevent rampant data collection without their consent,” Apple Inc said, while adding it would collaborate with the regulatory body.
Apple shares closed lower for a third consecutive trading session on NASDAQ on Thursday. The stock went down 1.58% ($1.93) to $120.13, after touching an intraday low at $118.63, or a price level not seen since November 30th 2020 ($116.81).
Shares of Apple Inc have retreated 9.47% so far in 2021 compared with a 0.33% gain for the benchmark index, S&P 500 (SPX).
In 2020, Apple’s stock went up 80.75%, thus, it outperformed the S&P 500, which registered a 16.26% gain.