Google and Apple face antitrust complaint in Mexico

Image Source: Reuters

Tech titans Google and Apple are facing a new antitrust complaint in Mexico over their app store payment commissions. 

The complaint was filed by Mony de Swaan Addati, who previously served as the head of Mexico’s Federal Commission of Telecommunications, which was replaced by the Federal Telecommunications Institute (IFT) in 2013. 

He announced the complaint on his Twitter account on Friday, accusing Google and Apple of preventing competition by “taking advantage of their monopoly in app stores to tie use of their own payment processing systems for in-app purchases,” as reported by Reuters.

He said that the 15%-30% fee charged by the companies for each payment made through their mandatory payment systems raises the price of digital items.

He added that the country’s competition authorities haven’t launched an investigation into Google and Apple’s app store practises so far in spite of his requests, so he decided to file the complaint with 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.

Both Google and Apple have long been facing legal challenges in various countries due to their app store practices, particularly their mandatory commissions.

Following a global backlash ignited with the removal of Epic’s Fortnite from the app stores for adding a new payment system that avoided the fee, Apple reduced its commission from 30% to 15% for developers earning less than $1 million per year. Google also decreased it to 15% for the first $1 million earned which would take effect after 12 months of a recurring subscription, but eventually expanded it to all subscription-based apps starting from day one without requiring them to wait for a year. 

In August 2021, South Korea’s parliament passed a bill forcing Apple and Google to accept alternative payment methods. While both Google and Apple agreed to allow apps distributed in the country to offer third-party payment systems, the Korea Communications Commission (KCC) recently announced its plans to launch an investigation over potential violations of its in-app payment law. 

Following South Korea’s bill, Google also launched a pilot program named ‘’user choice billing’’ to let developers, such as Spotify, offer alternative payment ways. Last week, the company expanded the program to Australia, India, Indonesia and Japan. 

In December, the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) issued a ruling requiring Apple to allow dating apps to offer third-party options.  After being fined €5M for the tenth time, the iPhone-maker agreed to allow the apps to do so. 

Written by Jordan Bevan


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