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Apple’s Payment Practices Target of Turkish Regulatory Probe

Turkey is the latest country to investigate Apple’s App Store payment rules.

The Turkish Competition Authority launched a probe into the contracts Apple makes with app developers and its refusal to permit alternative payment systems on the App Store, Reuters reported Thursday (June 6).

The investigation is part of a close look at mobile smart devices and software for these devices, the report added, citing a statement from the regulator.

The crackdown is one of several legal headaches Apple is facing around the world in connection with its App Store developer fees.

In April, a judge in Great Britain ruled that a $1 billion lawsuit against the tech giant brought by 1,500 tech developers could proceed.

When announcing the lawsuit last July, plaintiff Sean Ennis argued that Apple’s commissions are “excessive” and could only happen thanks to what he said is the company’s monopoly on the distribution of apps onto iPhones and iPads.

“The charges are unfair in their own right and constitute abusive pricing,” said Ennis, an economist and competition law professor, at the time. “They harm app developers and also app buyers.”

Apple has countered that 85% of the developers on its App Store don’t pay a commission and that the company is helping European developers access countries and customers in 175 nations worldwide.

Another mass lawsuit over App Store commissions, filed on behalf of approximately 20 million U.K. users, was given the go-ahead in 2022.

In the European Union, the company reversed course in a battle involving music-streaming services, saying it has accepted the EU’s demand that it stop blocking music apps from informing listeners of cheaper services available outside the App Store.

Meanwhile, in the U.S., Apple is involved in an ongoing legal battle with Fortnite maker Epic Games, which is contesting the 27% fee on in-app purchases via outside payment platforms.

During a hearing last month, Apple Fellow Phillip Schiller testified that the 27% fee is the company “trying to enable what the law requires.”