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Apple faces antitrust heat after Google rules

After the Competition Commission of India (CCI) sanctioned Google’s anti-competitive practices for payment and billing policies on the Play Store, Apple faced the heat of antitrust over its similar policies on the App Store. may face, sources close to the development said. Business line.

In the App Store case, the investigation report is likely to be submitted soon after which it will be sent to the complainant and Apple for their response. He further said that a final decision is expected from the CCI after hearing the matter.

Lack of quorum
Meanwhile, sources said the lack of quorum in the CCI does not affect the DG’s ongoing investigation against Apple. By the time the probe report against Apple is submitted in the next two to three weeks, the CCI will have a new chairperson, which will address the lack of quorum, he added.

The CCI had recently imposed a penalty of Rs 936.44 crore on Google for abusing its dominant position with respect to its Play Store billing policies, besides issuing a cease and desist order. Through its decision issued on October 25, the CCI directed Google to bar app developers from using any third-party billing or payment processing services for purchasing apps or for in-app billing on the Google Play Store.

Similar allegations were leveled against Apple by the NGO Together We Fight Society over its payment and billing policies on the App Store. Subsequently, the Alliance of Digital India Foundation (ADIF) also filed a similar case against Apple and linked the case to the ongoing investigation.

While ordering a probe against Apple on December 31 last year, the CCI observed that Apple’s App Store is the only channel for app developers to distribute their apps to consumers using Apple smart mobile devices and thus Apple Known as the gateway between users and app developers. .

In-app purchase system
Accordingly, the CCI ordered an investigation against Apple for mandatory use of its proprietary in-app purchase (IAP) system for distribution of paid digital content, which the CCI essentially noted was that the app Limiting the choice available to developers to choose a payment processing system of their choice especially when Apple charges a 30 percent commission for app and in-app purchases.

Such behavior was also noted as amounting to linking its app purchase payment processing service with the App Store, i.e., app developers must agree to use Apple’s iApp payment processing service if they Want to distribute your apps to iOS users. Through Apple’s App Store.

The App Store is the only channel for app developers to distribute their apps to iOS users that come pre-installed on every iOS device and third-party app stores are not allowed to be listed on the App Store. The CCI, while ordering the probe, noted that such restrictions imposed by Apple closed the market of app stores for iOS to potential app distributors.

A lawyer representing major tech companies before the CCI said on condition of anonymity Business line That Apple is potentially facing huge financial penalties as the issue of mandatory use of in-house billing system has already been decided by the CCI in Google’s case. “It is now an open-and-shut case as the principle has already been stated. It would be better for Apple to change its policy before the final hearing as the CCI has decided to reduce such voluntary remedies. can be taken as a factor. Otherwise, fines may be significant as CCI may consider revenue from Apple devices as well as App Store in calculating fines. Apple is a sitting duck for non-compliance. Awaiting the sound of the shotgun of confidence”, Maher added.  Job Jealous

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