Germany's Federal Cartel Office is carrying out proceedings against Apple over anti-competitive behavior related to its App Store, and other services and products. It will be decided in the proceedings if Apple’s ecosystem holds enough power to make it difficult for other companies to challenge it.
President of Germany's Federal Cartel Office, Andreas Mundt, explained that the focus of the investigations will be on examining Apple’s “extensive integration across several market levels, the magnitude of its technological and financial resources and its access to data.” He continued to say that the operation of the App Store will also be assessed, since it “enables Apple in many ways to influence the business activities of third parties.”
The main goal of the investigation is to prohibit the company from "engaging in anti-competitive practices" in case it is found to be of significance across markets.
According to the Office, it has received a number of complaints regarding potential anti-competitive practices, especially in relation to the App Tracking Transparency framework that was recently launched. The Office has also received a complaint related to the pre-installation of Apple's own apps on its devices and believes that Apple could be violating a clause from section 19a of the German Competition Act, which states that "the abuse of a dominant position by one or several undertakings is prohibited."
Other concerns, including ongoing disputes regarding Apple's in-app purchasing system have also been listed by the Office.
When reached out, Apple responded saying that it is looking forward to discussing its approach with the FCO and “having an open dialogue about any of their concerns.”