Apple Faces Two Antitrust Investigations in the EU

The EU Cracks Down on Silicon Valley

The European Union recently launched two antitrust investigations into Apple (AAPL), one related to the company’s Apple Pay platform and the other surrounding the App Store. Depending on the results of the inquiry, Apple may be required to change its business practices and could be fined as much as 10% of its annual revenue. Apple has denied accusations of anticompetitive behavior and said it welcomes the opportunity to show the European Commission it is fostering a competitive environment.

These antitrust investigations come after a string of other probes by the EU into Silicon Valley companies including Facebook (FB), Google (GOOGL), and Amazon (AMZN). The EU has raised concerns about a number of these companies controlling a marketplace while also acting as a business competing in that marketplace.

Many of these tech companies are also facing antitrust scrutiny at home from Congress, The Justice Department, and The Federal Trade Commission. Investors will be watching closely to see how investigations unfold in the EU and what impact that might cause for the companies globally.

Examining Apple’s App Store Policies

One of the EU’s investigations will focus on Apple’s App Store policies and whether or not they comply with competition rules.

Several companies have filed complaints against Apple, including Rakuten (RKUNY), Japan’s largest e-commerce company. The firm claims that Apple not only promotes Apple Books over other similar services but also charges 30% commission on ebooks sold through the App Store, making it difficult to compete.

Similarly, Spotify (SPOT), the Stockholm-based music streaming giant, filed complaints with the EU about Apple squelching competition on the App Store to promote its Apple Music service.

Apple Pay Under Scrutiny

The EU’s other investigation will examine Apple’s Apple Pay services. Because the company keeps a close hold on the Near Field Communication capabilities of its iPhones and Apple Watches, financial institutions are unable to create their own apps using Near Field Communication, which could compete with Apple Pay. During the pandemic, the popularity of contactless payment skyrocketed, which prompted scrutiny of payment features from authorities.

In a statement, Apple explained , “At the end of the day, our goal is simple: for our customers to have access to the best app or service of their choice, in a safe and secure environment. We welcome the opportunity to show the European Commission all we’ve done to make that goal a reality.”

Both formal investigations started yesterday in Brussels and investors will be watching how they progress in the weeks to come.

Please understand that this information provided is general in nature and shouldn’t be construed as a recommendation or solicitation of any products offered by SoFi’s affiliates and subsidiaries. In addition, this information is by no means meant to provide investment or financial advice, nor is it intended to serve as the basis for any investment decision or recommendation to buy or sell any asset. Keep in mind that investing involves risk, and past performance of an asset never guarantees future results or returns. It’s important for investors to consider their specific financial needs, goals, and risk profile before making an investment decision.
The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. These links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement. No brands or products mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this content.
Communication of SoFi Wealth LLC an SEC Registered Investment Advisor
SoFi isn’t recommending and is not affiliated with the brands or companies displayed. Brands displayed neither endorse or sponsor this article. Third party trademarks and service marks referenced are property of their respective owners.

All your finances.
All in one app.

SoFi QR code, Download now, scan this with your phone’s camera

All your finances.
All in one app.

App Store rating

SoFi iOS App, Download on the App Store SoFi Android App, Get it on Google Play

ABOUT SoFi SoFi helps people achieve financial independence to realize their ambitions. Our products for borrowing, saving, spending, investing, and protecting give our more than one million members fast access to tools to get their money right. SoFi membership comes with the key essentials for getting ahead, including career advisors and connection to a thriving community of like-minded, ambitious people. For more information, visit Want an easy and convenient way to manage your financial life? Get the SoFi app. For iOS and Android.

TLS 1.2 Encrypted
Equal Housing Lender