German antitrust watchdog announces probe of Apple

Apple became the latest target of a German antitrust crackdown on tech giants’ market power with the Federal Cartel Office announcing a wide-ranging probe examining the company’s “digital ecosystem.”

German antitrust watchdog announces probe of Apple. Image: Apple Park in Cupertino, California
Apple Park in Cupertino, California

Karin Matussek for Bloomberg News:

[Germany] will focus on the App Store and whether Apple has created a dominant business around its iPhone and operating system iOS that extends across several markets. Since the start of the year, the agency has opened similar investigations against Facebook Inc., Google and Inc.

“A main focus of the investigations will be on the operation of the App Store as it enables Apple in many ways to influence the business activities of third parties,” Andreas Mundt, the regulator’s head said. “We will examine” Apple’s “extensive integration across several market levels, the magnitude of its technological and financial resources and its access to data,” he added.

The German antitrust regulator was equipped with far-reaching new powers at the start of the year, letting it move against so-called digital platforms that play a crucial role in the online economy.

“We look forward to discussing our approach with the Federal Cartel Office and having an open dialogue about any of their concerns,“ Apple said… in an emailed statement, adding that it’s an engine for innovation and job creation, with more than 250,000 jobs supported by the “iOS app economy” in Germany.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple does not hold a monopoly position in smartphones or smartphone app stores in Germany.

Mobile operating system market share in Germany (StatCounter, June 2021):

• Android – 66.17%
• iOS – 32.73%


  1. • Android – 66.17%
    • iOS – 32.73%

    Volkswagen market share in Germany 19.6% (Q1 2021).
    Patiently waiting German antitrust crackdown on VW.

  2. Maybe it shows they don’t need to have a huge percentage in the country in order to have a huge influence on how things are run.

    If it results in Apple getting what they deserve in the US I’m all for it… let users own their device, don’t just baby them through everything… I mean, macOS is so insecure, right? code signing + notarization was such a terrible thing on macOS, right?

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