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Germany launches anti-trust investigation into Apple over iPhone iOS

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By Euronews with AFP
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Apple said they would welcome "open dialogue about concerns".
Apple said they would welcome "open dialogue about concerns".   -   Copyright  AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, FILE
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Germany's competition watchdog has launched an investigation into Apple over its iOS operating system.

The authority said they had received various complaints about Apple's "potentially anticompetitive practices".

The investigation will examine whether the US technology giant is hindering free competition for its rivals with the operating system on its iPhone smartphones.

The Federal Antitrust Office said in a statement that the action was based on a new law strengthening their powers to act against digital companies.

Facebook, Amazon, and Google have all previously faced scrutiny for their practices in the areas of competition and data protection.

"We will now examine whether Apple has established a digital ecosystem across several markets around the iPhone with its proprietary operating system iOS," said Andreas Mundt, President of the authority.

Mundt said that the investigation will also look at Apple's technological and financial resources and its access to private information.

"A key focus will be the operation of the App Store, as in many cases it empowers Apple to influence the operations of third parties," added Mundt.

The authority added that they would assess whether Apple has a "paramount significance across markets" that stifles competition.

In a statement to AFP, Apple said it was "eager to discuss its approach" with German regulators and would have "an open dialogue about its concerns".

Apple added that it was "proud to be an engine for innovation and jobs". The iOS platform alone supports reportedly more than 250,000 jobs in Germany.

The US tech giant is currently facing a number of competition cases in the European Union, accused of unfairly dominating the technology market.

The German watchdog said it would liaise with the EU in their ongoing investigation into the App Store in the music streaming market.