Apple and Google face probe over anti-competitive practices in Mexico

The complaint alleges that the technology companies are 'taking advantage of their monopoly in app stores'

Google and Apple logos. The two tech companies face a probe by Mexico's telecoms regulator IFT. Reuters
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Apple and Alphabet's Google are facing a probe over anti-competitive practices in Mexico after the country's former telecoms chief filed a complaint, he said in a statement on Twitter on Friday.

The complaint was brought to Mexico's telecoms regulator IFT on Thursday by Mony de Swaan Addati, who once headed the former entity that was later replaced by IFT.

His complaint accuses Apple and Google of “completely inhibit[ing] competition” by “taking advantage of their monopoly in app stores to tie use of their own payment processing systems for in-app purchases”.

Mr de Swaan Addati said Google's Play store and Apple's store charge a commission of 15 per cent and 20 per cent, respectively, stoking price inflation.

Google declined to comment. Apple and the IFT were not immediately available for comment.

Mr de Swaan Addati said Mexico's competition regulator had declined his request to open an investigation into the companies, prompting him to take his case to the IFT.

“I have full confidence that [the IFT] will investigate and exercise its powers — in line with international best practices — so that these companies stop abusing their market power to the detriment of developers and consumers,” he said.

According to data company Statista, more than 30 million smartphones were forecast to be sold in Mexico last year.

Google's Android has the largest market share in Mexico, controlling 77 per cent, according to the latest data from Statcounter.

Apple is facing scrutiny elsewhere on the continent, with Brazilian regulators having banned the sale of iPhones without a charger earlier this week.

Updated: September 10, 2022, 12:25 PM
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