THE EU Commission has opened antitrust investigations into Apple’s App Store and its Apple Pay platform over concerns they stifle competition.

The Commission said it was investigating Apple Pay over allegations the tech giant wields its control over the Pay platform to force developers into using it over others. It said a preliminary investigation had raised concerns that “Apple’s terms, conditions, and other measures related to the integration of Apple Pay” may “distort competition and reduce choice and innovation”.

In addition, the EU Commission announced it had opened a second investigation into concerns that the firm’s App Store restricts developers from informing iPhone and iPad users of alternative purchasing possibilities, instead pushing “mandatory use of Apple’s own proprietary in-app purchase system”.

Apple said it welcomed the opportunity to show that it gave customers “access to the best app or service of their choice, in a safe and secure environment”.

In a statement on the App Store probe, EU Commission executive vice-president Margrethe Vestager said: “It appears that Apple obtained a ‘gatekeeper’ role when it comes to the distribution of apps and content to users of Apple’s popular devices.

“We need to ensure that Apple’s rules do not distort competition in markets where Apple is competing with other app developers, for example with its music streaming service Apple Music or with Apple Books.

“I have therefore decided to take a close look at Apple’s App Store rules and their compliance with EU competition rules.”

The App Store investigation follows complaints from some rivals, including Spotify, which last year alleged that Apple’s rules were restrictive and anti-competition, arguing Apple’s 30% tax on purchases made through the payment system on its app store make it anti-competitive because it has its own streaming service – Apple Music.

Apple denied those allegations at the time and accused Spotify of seeking to keep the benefits of being on its app store without “making any contributions to that marketplace”, arguing the majority of Spotify users on Apple’s iOS platform used the free version of the app and so did not contribute to this revenue stream.