Antitrust is a useful tool for when players end up controlling monopolies and using them in anti-competitive ways.
Sure, they have complete control over who publishes on their own platform, but that sort of thing happens all the time without anyone batting an eyelash at it: The major console vendors do this, as did all cell phone vendors in the pre-smartphone era. My digital camera does this.
That leaves me thinking there's no real ground for invoking antitrust laws on this issue. Though there's still plenty of room to say that these policies are consumer-hostile and not in the public interest, and therefore there ought to be a law against it.
Philosophically interesting perhaps, but legally irrelevant. EU competition law is primarily concerned with dominant market positions and the abuse of that dominance. As the junior partner in a duopoly, Apple are inarguably powerful enough to substantially manipulate the market.
40% share is certainly a much lower bar than in the US, but would still not apply to Apple's share of EU smartphones.
Smart watches, on the other hand…
From your source:
>The Commission also takes other factors into account in its assessment of dominance, including the ease with which other companies can enter the market – whether there are any barriers to this; the existence of countervailing buyer power; the overall size and strength of the company and its resources and the extent to which it is present at several levels of the supply chain (vertical integration).
Apple clearly score very highly on most of these points.
the argument is markets within the ios ecosystem, of which there's effectively one, and how it affects developers' ability to build on that ecosystem.
My mistake, I was thinking of this in terms of US law, which is much less effective on these sorts of issues.
There is a stronger case against Amazon for selling Amazon-branded, well-moving products like batteries and diapers, even though they don't stifle the other brands.
Having had to take antitrust training at my company in the past few weeks, I can say that you are very mistaken if you think antitrust only kicks in when the company is a monopoly.
You can fall afoul of these conditions if you have "sufficient market power", which is a substantially broader claim than "monopoly power." I don't think there's any lawyer that would try to claim that Apple doesn't have "market power"--note that the smartphone market, from an OS perspective, is basically a duopoly.
Both Hulu and Netflix compete directly with Prime Video, and both 1) are available as free apps for Kindle and the Amazon Fire Stick TV and 2) literally rely on Amazon hardware to run through AWS.
On the other hand, you say Apple is free and clear for undercutting Spotify with their own product in a way that Spotify is incapable of competing with.