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European Commission Opens Two Antitrust Probes Into Apple

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Earlier this year, France's competition authority hit US tech juggernaut Apple with a whopping €1.1 bln fine for anti-competitive practices with regard to retail distributors.

The European Union has launched antitrust investigations into Apple's payment platform over concerns that its practices stifle competition.

According to the EU Commission, the probes have been launched over allegations that the US tech giant refuses to grant access to the payment system in some cases, limiting access to the "tap and go'' function on iPhones.

A second investigation has been launched over the company's App Store due to concerns that it restricts developers from letting iPhone and iPad users know about ways to make purchases outside of apps.

"It appears that Apple obtained a 'gatekeeper' role when it comes to the distribution of apps and content to users of Apple's popular devices," EU Executive Vice President Margrethe Vestager stated.

Commenting on the probes, Apple has accused a few companies of filing groundless complaints and criticised EU antitrust regulators for listening to them and opening two investigations into Apple Pay and the App Store.

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"It's disappointing the European Commission is advancing baseless complaints from a handful of companies who simply want a free ride, and don't want to play by the same rules as everyone else. We don’t think that's right — we want to maintain a level playing field where anyone with determination and a great idea can succeed", the statement issued by the company says.

The new EU move comes four years after Brussels ordered the California-based giant to repay 13 billion euros ($14.7 billion) in back taxes on antitrust concerns.

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