In addition, the Commission continues to actively scrutinize digital platforms, despite the challenges stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. Three recent developments are noteworthy.
Facebook. As previously reported, the Commission has been investigating complaints that Facebook may have distorted the online classified advertising market by promoting its free Marketplace service to the 2 billion users of its social network. On April 6, 2020, the Commission sent a third request for information (“RFI”) to third parties dealing with Facebook, to better understand Facebook’s business model and the importance of data for the success of the social media platform.
Apple. The Commission has further progressed its probe into Apple’s alleged anticompetitive App Store policies, which allegedly favor Apple’s own music-streaming services to the detriment of its rival Spotify. The Commission has recently sent out additional RFIs to various music streaming stakeholders that frequently distribute their services through the App Store.
Amazon. The Commission also continues the Amazon probe, assessing whether Amazon’s dual role as retailer and provider of a market place, and related use by Amazon of sensitive data from independent retailers, violates EU antitrust rules. The Commission has recently reiterated that the COVID-19 pandemic “doesn’t change [its] enforcement priorities” and confirmed it is accordingly progressing the Amazon case.