It is not surprising that Apple is being investigated for unfair, monopolistic or abusive practices anywhere in the world at any given time. What is news is that this is happening in Mexico, and curiously it is thanks to Mercado Libre.
According to information from El Universal, the Federal Telecommunications Institute (IFT) and the Federal Economic Competition Commission (COFECE) of Mexico decided to start an investigation against Apple, due to a complaint filed by the ecommerce giant Mercado Libre. According to this complaint, Apple carries out “anticompetitive practices in the market for the distribution of applications for devices with iOS operating system.” Basically, the apple company is accused of taking advantage of controlling the entire ecosystem of its products, so users have no alternatives when it comes to searching for apps, in-app purchases, or even making payments. In this sense, Google and Android are saved, because being a free operating system, users do have more installation freedoms.
“This ban, which does not apply to Apple, would have the following anticompetitive effects. On the one hand, it blocks the emergence of distributors, other than Apple, of digital goods and services on iOS devices. On the other hand, it restricts the distribution of content that competes with Apple’s,” Mercado Libre wrote in the complaint.
According to the report, COFECE only confirmed the start of the investigation, but the IFT did explain in a little more detail why:
“The defendants (Apple Services LATAM and Apple Operations Mexico) have the ability to commit behaviors in the market of mobile operating systems integrated into mobile terminal equipment, with anticompetitive effects on those where application stores and mobile applications operate, among other related markets,” the IFT text refers.
What is not very clear is why Mercado Libre made this complaint, considering that it is an ecommerce company and not a digital service provider. For its part, Apple has not commented on this.
Now, the only thing left for Apple is to wait for the investigation to conclude to see if any disciplinary action is not taken or if it is forced to make any changes. It should be remembered that the company is suffering similar consequences in Europe, where everything indicates that it is going to have to open its operating system so that there are alternative stores to the App Store, or allow the user to install applications alternately. If the same line of research is followed in Mexico, it is possible that the same thing will happen here.
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