The Bundeskartellamt, Germany’s antitrust authority, has confirmed Apple meets its test for special abuse controls — having so-called “paramount significance for competition across markets,” reports TechCrunch. The designation stands for five years.

From the Bundeskartellamt press release: The company holds a dominant, or at least powerful, position on all vertically related levels based on its smartphones, tablets and smart watches as well as proprietary operating systems and the App Store, the only digital distribution platform for apps and other software products available to both app publishers and users on Apple devices.

Based on this tight proprietary vertical structure and an installed base of more than 2 billion active devices worldwide, Apple is active in many ways on market levels and business areas that are linked to each other and is therefore in a position to tie its users to its complex ecosystem on a long-term basis. This is associated with a strong power to set rules for third parties, above all for app developers.

Apple controls access to Apple customers and shapes this access based on its rules and economic framework conditions. This outstanding position is accompanied by an extraordinary level of resources. Apple not only has great financial means at its disposal but can also make use of its wide user base and the strong market value of the “Apple” brand. The company uses its resources to expand its ecosystem, either by investing heavily in R&D, continuously increasing its number of staff in pioneering business areas, or acquiring companies especially focusing on technologies for the expansion of business areas or the improvement of existing services or products. The company also has privileged access to data relevant for competition. This structurally ensured presence across markets makes it easier for Apple to safeguard its ecosystem and to expand its activities into new business areas, such as the advertising business.

Apple’s paramount significance for competition across markets within the meaning of Section 19a(1) GWB gives the company a position of power which allows for a scope of action across markets that is not sufficiently controlled by competition.

Article provided with permission from AppleWorld.Today