BRASILIA: Brazil’s antitrust watchdog CADE has begun investigating a complaint filed by e-commerce retailer MercadoLibre Inc against Apple Inc for allegedly abusing a monopoly in the distribution of apps for its devices, the regulator said Wednesday.
The decision to open the investigation into Apple’s alleged anti-competitive practices was made last week based on the complaint filed in December by MercadoLibre, CADE said in a statement.
Similar investigations are being conducted by antitrust authorities in other jurisdictions.
MercadoLibre argued that Apple had imposed a series of restrictions on the distribution of digital goods and in-app purchases.
The South American company criticized the California tech giant for requiring developers offering digital goods or services within apps to use Apple’s own payment system and preventing them from redirecting buyers to their websites.
MercadoLibre filed its complaint in Brazil and also in Mexico.
Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Apple’s policies have been put to the test in almost every corner of the world in recent years.
In a US lawsuit over similar allegations, a judge ruled that Apple had not violated the antitrust law, in part because the rules resulted in security benefits to users that outweighed any harm to app makers. But the ruling is being appealed and a global resolution to the issue seems a long way off.
CADE said antitrust cases against Apple are ongoing around the world, including in the European Union, Britain, South Korea, Japan, India and Indonesia.
Nasdaq-listed MercadoLibre is one of Latin America’s largest companies, with a market capitalization of $53.82 billion, according to Refinitiv data.