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Brazil watchdog investigates Apple over App Store payment rules

App Store

Brazil's antitrust watchdog CADE is investigating a complaint against Apple for alleged anti-competitive practices with the App Store.

The Conselho Administrativo de Defesa Economica (CADE) is looking into a complaint from MercadoLibre that was filed in December 2022, according to a report from Reuters. "Similar investigations are being conducted by antitrust authorities in other jurisdictions," CADE said.

MercadoLibre argued that Apple imposes restrictions on the distribution of digital goods and in-app purchases, such as requiring developers who offer digital goods or services inside an app to use Apple's payment system, which is an Apple requirement.

Apple's rule of requiring developers to use its payment systems and the 30% fee it imposes has long been a point of contention with developers and companies. For example, Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney has an ongoing with Apple over the issue and vowed in December that he will continue the battle.

In October, Apple rival Spotify removed the ability to purchase audiobooks in its app over the 30% fee, directing customers to buy them on the web.

The US Department of Justice is also reportedly building an antitrust lawsuit against Apple. That case is allegedly about AirTags and the Find My app after rival Tile raised concerns in 2021.

Similar to the complaint from MercadoLibre, Russia's competition regulator Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) has fined Apple $17.4 million because of App Store payment rules. Apple faces plenty of other cases elsewhere.