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Germany puts Apple under list subject to stricter competition regime

Germany’s competition regulator is subjecting Apple to a stricter competition regime by preventing it from carrying out certain practices.

We missed this earlier: Germany's competition regulator on April 5 designated Apple as an undertaking of "paramount significance for competition across markets," thus subjecting the company to a stricter competition regime. Apple now joins other Big Tech companies Google, Meta, and Amazon, which were all given this classification last year. The regulator is still examining if Microsoft deserves this classification as well. The German competition regulator Bundeskartellamt has the power to subject certain large platforms to additional competition regulations based on powers given by Section 19a of the German Competition Act introduced in early 2021. "Apple has an economic position of power across markets which gives rise to a scope of action that is not sufficiently controlled by competition. [...] With its proprietary products iOS and the App Store, Apple holds a key position for competition as well as for gaining access to the ecosystem and Apple customers. This decision enables us to specifically take action against and effectively prohibit anti-competitive practices." — Andreas Mundt, President of the Bundeskartellamt Why does this matter: Apple's life in Germany is set to get a whole lot tougher because carrying the "paramount significance" tag comes with a lot of additional responsibility. Companies designated with this tag are prohibited from certain specified practices unless they can prove the practice’s pro-competitive effects. For example, Apple is prohibited from favoring its own product or services over others. It also cannot impede developers' access to the App Store or provide developers with insufficient data about their apps' performance. Apple…

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