Apple’s App Store policies are becoming a matter of concern in various parts of the world, with many challenging the iPhone-maker for unfair business practices. Epic Games, Spotify, and others have criticised the Cupertino tech giant for creating one-sided and unacceptable App Store policies. Now, India’s antitrust agency has come forward to investigate, and Apple is being probed for unfair practices in India.
App Store Policies and Apple’s Walled Garden
Tesla’s owner Elon Musk too criticised Apple for creating a walled garden. In India, Apple’s accused of violating Sections 4(2)(d) and 4(2)(e) by asserting payments via Apple and prohibiting third-party in-app purchases.
As per Section 4(2), Apple’s been misusing their dominant position. Apple asked for the dismissal of the case on grounds of minimum market share in the Indian smartphone industry.
However, Competition Commission of India said that Apple’s monopoly forces app developers to follow their policies or lose listings. Apple insists on only allowing installations through App store, so there isn’t any other way to load an application on iOS devices. Similarly, app developers are urging Apple to enable third-party app stores and remove the current non-negotiable policies.
Apple has always maintained that they aren’t in favour of allowing third-party app stores to run on iOS devices because of privacy reasons. The company also restricts direct in-app payments to preserve the anonymity of their users. However, the Commission is going ahead with the probe on the merits of violation of Indian laws.
No matter what the outcome, would you be happy about being able to make direct payments to app developers for in-app purchases? And will iOS users risk privacy for third-party app stores? Let us know what you think of the Indian watchdog looking into Apple for unfair practices in India.