Indian regulator launches Apple App Store probe

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India’s competition watchdog, the Competition Commission of India (ICC), wants to investigate Apple for the reported violations of antitrust law, according to a Reuters report on Friday (December 31).

The order comes from a non-profit group, “Together We Fight Society,” said Apple forced developers to use its in-app purchasing system – a violation of its dominant position in app markets.

The plaintiff also said that Apple’s 30% fee on the distribution of paid digital content had hurt competition.

They believe that by restricting competition between application developers and customers, Apple has created barriers to entry into the market, including for potential application developers and distributors.

In an earlier filing, Apple denied the allegations, saying it wanted the regulator to dismiss the case. Apple said its Indian market share was between 0 and 5%, which it called “insignificant”.

However, CCI said Apple’s arguments were misguided and the allegations were about anti-competitive restrictions imposed on app developers rather than end users.

Apple, along with other tech giants, has recently faced adversity from many countries around the world.

PYMNTS writes that at the end of 2021, the Dutch payments regulator ordered Apple to change its App Store policies to allow dating app providers to use other payment systems.

Read more: Apple must change app store policies, says Dutch competition regulator

Martijn Snope, chairman of the Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM), said app providers can often depend on the App Store. Apple, he said, had unique responsibilities in this regard.

“That’s what we’re forcing Apple to do with this order,” he said. “Protecting people and businesses against abuse of market power in the digital economy is one of our most important duties. “

Dating apps were a special case because, according to Snope, they must agree to Apple’s terms for the App Store and payment instruments. Additionally, if users pay for “superlikes” or special boosts, a portion of that payment goes to Apple.

The terms are unreasonable, according to the ACM.

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