Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Mexican antitrust authority referred complainant over Google's and Apple's abusive app tax to telecommunications regulator: invitation accepted

Apple and Google ("Goopple") are presently facing formal complaints and/or investigations/litigations over their app tax on five continents--and a sixth one (South America) may soon have to be added to this list:

  1. North America

  2. Europe

  3. Asia

  4. Australia

  5. Africa

While I'm still waiting for the first South American complaint or investigation, there is at least a Latin American complaint now. Geographically, Mexico is a North American country, but it's also a Latin American nation. On Twitter, Mony de Swaan Addati--the former head of Mexico's telecommunications regulator--announced a complaint against Google and Apple that he filed with the Instituto Federal de Telecomunicaciones (Federal Telecommunications Institute), the successor to the government agency he once ran (then named Federal Telecommunications Commission, or Cofetel):

I've read Mr. de Swaan's Twitter thread, and interestingly he notes that he originally filed an antitrust complaint with Cofece, Mexico's primary competition watchdog--but the antitrust authority then told him that mobile app stores are part of the value chain that its sister agency IFT is responsible for. Therefore, Mr. de Swaan filed a complaint with what is essentially his own former agency.

This is the first Latin American app store complaint to have surfaced. I wish Mr. de Swaan luck and will keep an eye on how things go there. His Twitter thread reflects a deep understanding of the issues in a global context.

App developers and/or consumers should also take action further down south. There are some interesting jurisdictions in South America. In Colombia, Apple can't sell the brand new iPhone 14 while Ericsson is enforcing a patent injunction. In Brazil, the Microsoft-ActivisionBlizzard merger review is more transparent than in any other jurisdiction.