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Apple Investigated Over MercadoLibre Complaint About Brazil’s App Store Monopoly

Apple Investigated Over MercadoLibre Complaint About Brazil’s App Store Monopoly

Apple Investigated Over MercadoLibre Complaint About Brazil's App Store Monopoly

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Brazilian antitrust watchdog CADE has opened an investigation into a complaint by e-commerce retailer MercadoLibre Inc against Apple Inc for alleged abuse of a monopoly in the distribution of apps for its devices, the regulator said on Wednesday.

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The decision to open the investigation into Apple’s alleged anticompetitive practices was taken last week based on the complaint filed in December by MercadoLibre, CADE said in a statement.

“Similar investigations are being conducted by antitrust authorities in other jurisdictions,” the watchdog said.

MercadoLibre argued that Apple had imposed a series of restrictions on the distribution of digital goods and in-app purchases.

The South American company has criticized the Californian tech giant for forcing developers who offer digital goods or services in apps to use Apple’s own payment system and preventing them from redirecting buyers to their websites. .

MercadoLibre filed its complaint in Brazil and also in Mexico.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Apple’s policies have been challenged in almost every corner of the world over the past few years.

In a trial in a US court over similar allegations, a judge ruled that Apple did not violate antitrust law in part because its rules resulted in security benefits for users that outweighed any harm to app makers. But the decision is under appeal and a global resolution on the issue seems a long way off.

CADE said antitrust cases against Apple are ongoing around the world, including in the European Union, Britain, South Korea, Japan, India and Indonesia.

Nasdaq-listed MercadoLibre is one of the largest companies in Latin America, with a market capitalization of $53.82 billion (roughly Rs. 437,900 crore), according to Refinitiv data.

© Thomson Reuters 2023


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