Google and Apple face anticompetitive complaint in Mexico

Google and Apple face anticompetitive complaint in Mexico

In this illustration, taken April 12, 2020, a 3D printed Google logo is placed on an Apple Macbook. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

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MEXICO CITY, Sep 9 (Reuters) – Apple (AAPL.O) and alphabet (GOOGL.O) Google is facing an investigation into anti-competitive practices in Mexico after the country’s former telecom chief filed a complaint, he said in a Twitter statement on Friday.

The complaint was filed yesterday with Mexican telecommunications regulator IFT Moni de Suaan Addati, who once headed the former telecommunications federation that IFT later replaced.

His complaint accuses Apple and Google of “totally suppressing competition” by “taking advantage of their monopoly on app stores to tie down the use of their own payment processing systems to in-app purchases.”

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In his online statement, de Swaan Addati said that Google Play Stores and Apple Stores charge a 15-20% commission, causing prices to rise.

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

A wave of lawsuits and complaints challenging the pair’s app store rules across countries in recent years has seen Google lower fees and Apple relax rules, but some app developers and other critics say more changes are needed.

De Swaan Addati added that the Mexican competition regulator denied his request to launch an investigation into the companies, prompting him to refer the case to IFT.

“I have every confidence that (IFT) will investigate and use its authority – in line with international best practice – to stop these companies from abusing their market position to the detriment of developers and consumers,” he said.

More than 30 million smartphones were sold in Mexico last year, according to Statista.

According to the latest Statcounter data, Google’s Android has the largest market share in Mexico with a penetration of 77%.

Apple has faced criticism elsewhere in the region: Earlier this week, Brazilian regulators banned iPhones from being sold without a charger. read more .

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Reporting by Isabelle Woodford and Sara Morland; editing by Richard Pullin

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