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App Store faces barrage of antitrust charges
Government agencies in the EU and UK are looking into whether the iPhone App Store violates their antitrust laws.
Photo: Sora Shimazaki/Pexels CC

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TikTok continues to dominate the App Store in 2020.
Does Apple have too much control over the App Store?
Photo: Kon Karampelas/Unsplash CC

Apple settles antitrust dispute in South Korea with ‘voluntary correction scheme’

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Apple South Korea Store
Dispute has been running in South Korea since 2016.
Photo: Apple

Apple has settled a long-running antitrust dispute in South Korea. The country’s Fair Trade Commission announced Wednesday that it has accepted Apple’s offer to spend $89.83 million in the country as part of a voluntary correction scheme.

“This is the first time that a correction scheme [to make up for unfair market practices] actually provides direct benefits to consumers such as repair and warranty cost discounts,” said FTC Chairwoman Joh Sung-wook in a press briefing. “[The FTC] shall thoroughly keep watch on whether Apple carries out the promised actions to contribute to the domestic ICT ecosystem.”

Apple Pay could be used in 1 of every 10 card transactions by 2025

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Apple Pay
Apple Pay has been a massive success for Apple.
Photo: CardMapr/Unsplash CC

The App Store has been one of the main focuses when it comes to Apple and potential antitrust violations. However, Apple Pay could also be a rising vulnerability for Apple as it defends itself against accusations of monopolistic behavior, the Financial Times notes.

According to the report, citing Loup Ventures analysts, Apple Pay is now used by 507 million people. That’s around half of the people in thee world who own an iPhone. By 2025, Bernstein analysts think it could facilitate one in every 10 credit card transactions worldwide. Of these, Apple gets an estimated 0.15% of each transaction.

Antitrust complaint claims Apple’s crackdown on user tracking is unfair

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privacy WWDC
Apple is all about privacy.
Photo: Apple

A French antitrust complaint against Apple targets an iOS 14 feature that makes it tougher for companies to indiscriminately use tracking technology for mobile advertising.

The anti-tracking feature previously faced criticism, unsurprisingly, from companies that work in mobile advertising. However, this is the one of the first legal actions taken against Apple due to the feature.

Lawyer who helped prosecute Microsoft thinks government may struggle against Big Tech

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iPhone with gavel.
Apple is one of the companies targeted in antitrust investigation.
Photo: Tingey Injury Law Firm/Cult of Mac

The lawyer who helped spearhead the successful U.S. antitrust case against Microsoft thinks today’s government is ill-prepared to take on companies like Apple, Google and Facebook.

According to Gary Reback, the U.S. government does not have enough litigators to prosecute antitrust cases against these tech giants.

Italy’s antitrust authorities will scrutinize Apple’s cloud services

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Apple ditched plans for secure iCloud backups after FBI concern
iCloud is one of the cloud services being scrutinized.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Italy has opened the latest investigation into potential Apple antitrust violations. Announced by the Italian antitrust authority Monday, this investigation will look into Apple’s iCloud cloud computing services.

Similar investigations will be carried out investigating Google parent company Alphabet and Dropbox.

Antitrust chairman says tech giants ‘crush’ competitors, charge ‘monopoly rents’

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Tim Cook answers questions about App Store business practices.
Tim Cook answered questions about App Store business practices last month.
Photo: C-SPAN

Congress’ big tech antitrust hearings are done and now, weeks later, investigators are gearing up to deliver their findings.

According to David Cicilline, the Democrat leading the House antitrust investigation into tech giants including Apple, the investigatory committee could reveal its recommendations next month. And things aren’t looking too rosy for the companies involved.

$84 million payout could settle Apple antitrust investigation in South Korea

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South Korea1
An interior photo of Apple's spectacular South Korea store.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s South Korea business has said that it will make a 100 billion won ($84 million) payout to support small businesses and help consumers. This is to address antitrust concerns raised in the country.

Korea’s Fair Trade Commission has been investigating Apple Korea for reportedly forcing mobile carriers to pay for advertising and warranty repairs. The payout — which is phrased like a pledge, but also sounds like a fine — will act as a make-good on Apple’s “unfair” terms.