Facebook, Microsoft complain about Apple’s app store on EU antitrust radar

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BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Grievances from Facebook and Microsoft over how their gaming apps appear on Apple’s App Store could fuel an EU investigation into the iPhone maker’s activities as antitrust regulators EU officials said such concerns were on their radar.

A 3D printed Facebook logo is placed on a keyboard in this illustration taken on March 25, 2020. REUTERS / Dado Ruvic / Illustration

In June, the European Commission opened four probes on Apple, including three in its App Store and restrictive rules, including requirements that app developers use their own in-app purchasing system.

US social media giant Facebook and Microsoft are the latest companies to express concerns about the rules, which have drawn criticism from app developers who say they are creating a level playing field to compete with the iPhone maker. .

When asked about Facebook and Microsoft’s problems with Apple, Commission spokesperson Arianna Podesta said in a statement: “The Commission is aware of these concerns regarding Apple’s App Store rules.”

She did not provide details.

Apple has dismissed criticism of its App Store rules, saying the same set of rules apply to all apps in order to protect customers and provide a level playing field for developers.

Sony’s PlayStation Remote and Valve’s SteamLink are licensed on the App Store, he said, and developers can reach users through his Safari web browser, where they can also create stores and services.

Facebook said last week that its gaming app was only available on Apple’s App Store as a streaming service and that users would not be able to play games.

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said the company needs to remove gaming functionality entirely to gain Apple approval for its Facebook Gaming app.

Microsoft, which has a game streaming service called Project xCloud, said: “Apple is the only general-purpose platform to deny consumers cloud gaming and game subscription services such as Xbox. Game Pass. ”

“It consistently treats gaming applications differently, applying more lenient rules to non-gaming applications, even when they include interactive content,” he added in an emailed statement.

Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; edited by Barbara Lewis

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