Apple is going to have to deal with a new German antitrust probe

What you need to know

  • Germany has opened a new investigation into Apple and potential antitrust issues.
  • Apple's digital ecossytem spreads into seceral markets and that could cause competing companies to face roadblocks.

App Store, iCloud. AppleCare, and more. It's all being investigated.

Apple will have to face another new challenge to the way it does business, this time coming out of Germany. Officials announced today that they intend to look into Apple and the way its "digital ecosystem" extends into multiple markets.

The news comes as Apple finds itself in hot water left and right with multiple countries and officials considering how its App Store and other services could prevent competition from being able to get a foothold. It also comes hot on the heels of the recent Epic Games court case surrounding the App Store, too.

In this instance, it's a broader investigation into whether Apple "is of paramount significance across markets."

Andreas Mundt, President of the Bundeskartellamt: "We will now examine whether with its proprietary operating system iOS, Apple has created a digital ecosystem around its iPhone that extends across several markets. Apple produces tablets, computers and wearables and provides a host of device-related services. In addition to manufacturing various hardware products, the tech company also offers the App Store, iCloud, AppleCare, Apple Music, Apple Arcade, Apple TV+ as well as other services as part of its services business. Besides assessing the company's position in these areas, we will, among other aspects, examine its extensive integration across several market levels, the magnitude of its technological and financial resources and its access to data. A main focus of the investigations will be on the operation of the App Store as it enables Apple in many ways to influence the business activities of third parties."

The announcement, first spotted by MacRumors, doesn't go into any specifics as to what mechanisms Germany might put in place based on the investigation's outcome, but there's a chance Apple could be prevented from being involved in the many markets it now operates in – whether that's preventing it from bundling its own apps on iPhones to the way Apple TV+ and Apple Music are bundled in with new hardware sales.

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