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The antitrust case against Apple is more than just another example of unfair competition. It is a reason to discuss a paradigm shift in the EU's competition enforcement, which until now has often come too late.

“It is long overdue for the Commission to take a very close look at the questionable terms of use of Apple’s App Store. There is always a big risk of abuse for a platform operator like Apple to give preference to its own services on its platform compared to competing services, like in this specific case. Apple has been using its App Store for a while to keep its competitors at bay by using dodgy contractual clauses and exorbitant fees. By making use of those anti-competitive practices, gatekeepers such as Apple are preventing true competition from emerging in the first place”, said Markus Ferber MEP, EPP Group Spokesman on Economic Affairs, after the announcement by the European Commission of the antitrust case against Apple.

The case brought forward by the European Commission goes back two years. At that time, the music streaming app company Spotify complained about Apple taking a 30 per cent fee for being available in Apple’s App Store and at the same time, it was not clear for users that they could access the app outside Apple.

“This case exemplifies what is wrong with digital platforms. It took years for EU competition authorities to get their act together in the first place. Apple’s competitors have had to take the hit in the meantime. We urgently have to move from ex-post competition enforcement to ex-ante prevention of market abuse. The Digital Markets Act can be a powerful tool in this regard”, Ferber concluded.

NOTE TO EDITORS

The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 178 Members from all EU Member States

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