BERLIN—Germany’s antitrust watchdog said on Monday it had launched an investigation into whether Apple was exploiting its market dominance, following similar proceedings into U.S. tech rivals Facebook, Amazon, and Google.
Based on new competition law rules specifically intended for large digital companies, Germany’s Federal Cartel Office (FCO) said it would assess whether Apple has a “paramount significance across markets” in a first step.
“Based on this first proceeding, the [FCO] intends to assess in more detail specific practices of Apple in a possible further proceeding. In this regard, the authority has received various complaints relating to potentially anti-competitive practices.”
The FCO said one complaint came from an association in the advertising and media industry and was aimed at Apple restricting user tracking with the introduction of its iOS 14.5 operating system.
An Apple spokesperson said, “We look forward to discussing our approach with the FCO and having an open dialogue about any of their concerns.”
By Riham Alkousaa and Supantha Mukherjee