MercadoLibre files complaints against Apple's monopoly

Tuesday 6 December 2022 12:49 CET | News

Ecommerce player MercadoLibre has filed complaints against Apple with antitrust regulators in Brazil and Mexico for anti-competitive practices, accusing the company of monopoly.


The ecommerce 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 company based in South America criticized the US 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.

As MercadoLibre representatives say, this harms Apple’s competitors, unless they are integrated digital giants themselves, who may even benefit from this artificial tilt towards integrated ecosystems. MercadoLibre said the complaints against Apple had been filed before Brazil's antitrust watchdog CADE and Mexico's Federal Telecommunications Institute and Federal Economic Competition Commission.

Asked if they would consider a similar move against Alphabet’Google, MercadoLibre's antitrust director Paolo Franco Benedetti said that the company was not fully comfortable with Google's policies but is focusing on the complaints against Apple right now. Benedetti said that Google's app store had less strict rules than Apple's.

Ecommerce player MercadoLibre has filed complaints against Apple with antitrust regulators in Brazil and Mexico for anti-competitive practices, accusing the company of monopoly.


Companies pointing fingers at Apple

Apple's policies have been challenged over the past few years. In a US court trial last year over similar allegations, a judge found that Apple had not violated antitrust law in part because its rules led to security benefits for users that outweighed any harm to appmakers.

But the ruling is being appealed, and a global resolution on the concerns appears distant. Nasdaq-listed MercadoLibre is one of Latin America's largest companies, with a market capitalization of USD 47.53 billion. The ecommerce company tried unsuccessfully to negotiate with Apple. They would have preferred not to escalate the situation and come to a resolution with the US-based company. As that was not the case, however, they believe they had to file complaints against the tech giant.

MercadoLibre’s expansion

The Latin American ecommerce company announced in August 2022 plans to expand its crypto trading feature across the LATAM region after a successful start in Brazil. The company will be expanding the possibility to buy, sell and hold cryptocurrencies in users’ accounts in the region. The company’s crypto-trading feature in Brazil hit 1 million users two months after its launch.

The company seems set to expand, as it is gathering funding, including a USD 233 million loan from Goldman Sachs back in July 2022. The company used the funds to expand its credit offering in Mexico and Brazil, with Mercado Pago to use USD 106 million to boost its credit portfolio aimed for individuals and small businesses in Brazil.

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Keywords: growth markets, Competition and Markets Authority, marketplace, ecommerce, super app
Categories: Payments & Commerce
Companies: Apple, Mercado Libre
Countries: South America
This article is part of category

Payments & Commerce



Mercado Libre

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