Global: Turkish Regulatory Probe Targets Apple’s Payment Practices

Turkish Regulatory Probe Targets Apple’s Payment Practices
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Turkey has become the latest country to scrutinize Apple’s App Store payment policies.

The Turkish Competition Authority has initiated an investigation into Apple’s contracts with app developers and its prohibition of alternative payment systems on the App Store, as reported by Reuters on Thursday (June 6).

This probe is part of a broader examination of mobile smart devices and their software, according to a statement from the regulator.

Global Legal Challenges

This investigation adds to the series of legal challenges Apple faces globally regarding its App Store developer fees.

In April, a British judge allowed a $1 billion lawsuit against Apple, filed by 1,500 tech developers, to move forward. The lawsuit, introduced by plaintiff Sean Ennis in July, argues that Apple’s commissions are “excessive” and only possible due to what he describes as the company’s monopoly on app distribution for iPhones and iPads.

“The charges are unfair in their own right and constitute abusive pricing,” stated Ennis, an economist and competition law professor. “They harm app developers and also app buyers.”

Apple has responded by noting that 85% of developers on its App Store do not pay a commission and that the company aids European developers in reaching customers in 175 countries worldwide.

Legal Battles and Concessions

Another significant lawsuit regarding App Store commissions, representing around 20 million U.K. users, was approved in 2022.

In the European Union, Apple has conceded in a dispute involving music-streaming services by agreeing to stop blocking music apps from informing users about cheaper services available outside the App Store.

Meanwhile, in the United States, Apple is engaged in an ongoing legal battle with Epic Games, the creator of Fortnite, over the 27% fee on in-app purchases made through external payment platforms. During a recent hearing, Apple Fellow Phillip Schiller testified that the 27% fee is the company’s way of complying with legal requirements.

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