The CMA said the probe has been prompted by reports that Apple’s terms and conditions are unfair and could break competition laws.

“Millions of us use apps every day to check the weather, play a game or order a takeaway. So, complaints that Apple is using its market position to set terms which are unfair or may restrict competition and choice – potentially causing customers to lose out when buying and using apps – warrant careful scrutiny,” competition watchdog’s chief executive Andrea Coscelli was quoted as saying.

After stressing the investigation has just begun and no decision on whether the multinational is breaking the law, the CMA added its aim is to know if Apple has a dominant position in connection with the distributions of apps on its devices in the UK.

Sofware developers often complain that since the App Store is the only way they have to distribute their products on the iPhone and iPad platforms, Apple forces them to submit their applications for review and agree to its terms.

Since its launch in 2008, the App Store has been the only way for developers to distribute software on the iPhone and iPad and to be listed, developers must submit their applications to Apple for review and agree to its terms.

The UK competition regulator said that it is working closely with the European Commission, which has also launched four antitrust investigations into Apple, three of which concern the App Store.