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Apple App Store faces new antitrust investigation


UK regulators have launched a new antitrust investigation against apple's app store, the Uk's Competition and Market Authority (CMA) announced Thursday.

If the details appear to be similar to the EU antitrust investigations, it is no accident.

The UK is investigating the terms that developers must agree to when creating software for the Apple App Store, along with the commission paid to the company for in-app purchases.

The UK Competition and Market Authority hopes to determine whether Apple's practices are anti-competitive, although today's announcement is just the first step in a lengthy regulatory process.

Andrea Coscelli, chief executive of the UK Competition and Market Authority, said in a statement posted online Thursday morning: "Millions of us use apps every day to check the weather, play a game or order takeaways, so complaints that Apple is using its market place to set unfair terms or may restrict competition and choice – which may cause customers to lose out when buying and using apps – require scrutiny.

"Our ongoing inspection of digital markets has revealed some worrying trends, and we know that companies, as well as consumers, could be really harmed if anti-competitive practices from large technology companies are not controlled, which is why we continue to create a new digital market unit and launch new investigations wherever we have reasons to do so."

The United Kingdom antitrust investigation appears to be identical to the recently announced European Union investigation, and the press release of the British Competition and Market Authority recognizes this fact.

The UK needs to double many investigations like this after leaving the European bloc, making British consumers more vulnerable.

The UK has much less leverage against Apple after it left the EU if it wants to impose effective sanctions on the California-based technology giant.