Indian Antitrust Body Orders Apple Investigation for Alleged App Market Abuse | Invest News


By Aditya Kalra and Abhirup Roy

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India’s competition watchdog on Friday ordered an investigation into Apple Inc’s business practices in the country, saying it was the initial view that the iPhone maker had violated certain antitrust laws.

The Indian Competition Commission (ICC) order comes after a non-profit group this year alleged that Apple was abusing its dominant position in the app market by forcing developers to use its proprietary system of apps. in-app purchase.

The plaintiff, “Together We Fight Society”, argued that Apple’s imposition of a 30% in-app royalty for the distribution of paid digital content and other restrictions harmed competition by increasing costs for application developers and customers, while also hindering the market. Entrance.

The ICC said Apple’s restrictions on its face result in denial of market access for potential app developers and distributors.

“The Commission at this point is convinced that a prima facie case is established against Apple which merits investigation,” he said.

Apple did not respond to requests for comment.

The company has denied the allegations in a case filed with the ICC last month, seen by Reuters, and asked the regulator to dismiss the case, pointing out that its market share in India was “insignificant” at 0-5% .

CCI, however, said in the order that Apple’s market share argument was “completely misguided” because the allegations concerned anti-competitive restrictions imposed on application developers, not end users.

The allegations are similar to a case Apple is facing in the European Union, where regulators launched an investigation into the US tech giant last year.

The TCC ordered its investigative unit to complete the investigation and submit a report within 60 days of the order. Typically, these investigations last several months.

The watchdog is separately investigating Google’s in-app payment system as part of a larger investigation into the company after Indian startups expressed concern last year.

(Reporting by Aditya Kalra in New Delhi and Abhirup Roy in Mumbai; editing by Jan Harvey)

Copyright 2021 Thomson Reuters.

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