E-commerce giant MercadoLibre said on Monday it has filed complaints against Apple with antitrust regulators in Brazil and Mexico for anti-competitive practices, accusing the US-based firm of abusing what it called a monopoly in the distribution of apps for its devices.
In a statement, the e-commerce giant said that Apple had imposed a series of restrictions on the distribution of digital goods and in-app purchases, including banning apps from distributing third-party digital goods and services such as movies, music, video games, books and written content.
In the complaint, the South American company criticised the California tech giant for requiring developers who offer digital goods or services within apps to use Apple’s own payment system and stopping them from redirecting buyers to their websites.”This clearly harms its competitors, unless they are integrated digital giants themselves, who may even benefit from this artificial tilt towards integrated ecosystems,” Jacobo Cohen Imach, senior vice president of legal and public affairs said in a statement. MercadoLibre said the complaints against Apple had been filed before Brazil’s antitrust watchdog CADE and Mexico’s Federal Telecommunications Institute and Federal Economic Competition Commission.
The regulators could not immediately be reached for comment. Asked if they would consider a similar move against Alphabet’s Google, MercadoLibre’s antitrust director Paolo Franco Benedetti said in an interview that the company was not fully comfortable with Google’s policies, but is focusing on the complaints against Apple right now. Benedetti said that Google’s app store had less strict rules than Apple’s.
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