Nine days back, DMN was first to report that Apple was facing billions in potential fines stemming from a pair of European Union investigations into Apple Pay and the App Store. Now, U.S. officials are reportedly considering launching an App Store antitrust probe of their own.
Multiple outlets are indicating that the Department of Justice and Apple will soon clash over App Store policies, though the available information has derived exclusively from unnamed sources with knowledge of the matter.
Neither Apple higher-ups nor Justice Department officials had publicly commented on the subject at the time of this writing.
However, the Justice Department has reportedly reached out to developers – as well as state attorneys general – who are taking issue with Apple’s longstanding policy of collecting 30 percent of most third-party App Store transactions.
Spotify and Rakuten-owned Kobo submitted App Store complaints to the European Union (and spurred the EU Commission’s inquiry), but it’s unclear whether they’re involved with the stateside investigation.
Preliminary reports also suggest that the Justice Department is preparing to conduct antitrust inquiries into Facebook and Google, but once again, said reports haven’t yet been confirmed. The European Union Commission, for its part, is expected to announce an Amazon investigation in the coming weeks.
Moreover, Google is currently appealing roughly $9 billion in fines levied against it following EU Commission probes.
Aside from the European Union’s investigations and the Justice Department’s possible inquiry, Apple has had a relatively positive couple weeks.
On Monday (as part of the annual Worldwide Developers Conference), the Cupertino-headquartered brand detailed a far-reaching AirPods update (complete with automatic switching and “spatial audio”) and the upcoming release of third-party music service support on HomePods.
These and other changes are slated to arrive in September, when iOS 14 becomes available for the iPhone 6S and all subsequently manufactured iPhones.
Plus, Apple’s stock, traded under the symbol AAPL, is currently worth over $361 per share – well above its pre-coronavirus pandemic price point.