It seems that Spotify, Kaspersky Lab and Elizabeth Warren are not alone in their theories that Apple favors its own services on the App Store. THE Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM), the European country's antitrust body, announced today that it will investigate Ma for potential abusive behaviors that, in theory, could hurt competition in the store. The information is from Bloomberg.
According to the announcement made by the agency, the initial focus will be on Apple music and in Apple news (which is not yet available in the Netherlands, good to add) and how these two services could be being favored by Ma on the App Store, to the detriment of competing platforms.
Eventually, research may expand to other apps and categories or even encompass the Google Play it all depends on the developers, who can notify ACM with any issues they face.
The initiative to start the investigation, however, is not motivated solely by notifications from developers: The agency itself recently published a study exploring the influence of app stores and concluded that there are no “realistic alternatives” to the App Store or Google Play, which puts Apple and Google in a position that could potentially create unfair rules.
This conclusion, in Ma's case, is obvious: There is no official way to get apps for iPads and iPhones from outside the App Store, as is well known. Because of this, Apple's position becomes even more evident.
There is no information about what kind of health Apple may suffer if the investigation confirms the company's assumption of abusive behavior. Still, Ma stated CNN who are "confident" that in the end, the Dutch agency concludes that "all developers have the same opportunity to be successful on the App Store."
That may be so, but telling that case plus Spotify's request for the European Commission to investigate Apple, I would say the time is not the best for Ma in that regard.