E-commerce giant MercadoLibre said on Monday it has filed complaints against Apple with antitrust regulators in Brazil and Mexico for anti-competitive practices, accusing the U.S.-based firm of abusing what it called a monopoly in the distribution of apps for its devices.
In a statement, the e-commerce giant said that Apple had imposed a series of restrictions on the distribution of digital goods and in-app purchases, including banning apps from distributing third-party digital goods and services such as movies, music, video games, books and written content.
In the complaint, the South American company criticized the California tech giant for requiring developers who offer digital goods or services within apps to use Apple's own payment system and stopping them from redirecting buyers to their websites.
"This clearly harms its competitors, unless they are integrated digital giants themselves, who may even benefit from this artificial tilt towards integrated ecosystems,"
Jacobo Cohen Imach, senior vice president of legal and public affairs said in a statement.
MercadoLibre said the complaints against Apple had been filed before Brazil's Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE) and Mexico's Federal Telecommunications Institute (IFT) and Federal Economic Competition Commission (COFECE).
The company is not ready to take a similar move against Google, although it is not fully comfortable with policies of the IT giant. Now MercadoLibre "is focusing on the complaints against Apple," Reuters quotes Paolo Franco Benedetti, MercadoLibre's antitrust director.
The Buenos Aires-based company operates in 18 countries across Latin America and has expanded into financial technology in recent years, with fintech revenues becoming the fastest-growing portion of the company. Among the digital services the company could offer without the existing limitations are e-books, video streaming, audio streaming, video games, subscriptions, or even apps, Benedetti said.
For example, MercadoLibre currently offers subscriptions to Disney+ and HBO to Android users in its loyalty program, but it does not currently do so to iOS users.