The Competition Commission of India (CCI) on Friday ordered a detailed probe against technology major Apple for alleged unfair business practices with respect to its App Store. In a 20-page order, the watchdog said that Apple’s App Store is the only channel for app developers to distribute their apps to iOS consumers which is pre-installed on every iPhone and iPad.
“Further, third party app stores are not allowed to be listed on Apple’s App Store as the developer guidelines as well as agreement prohibits app developers from offering such services… these restrictions imposed by Apple forecloses the market for app stores for iOS for potential app distributors,” the order said.
According to the CCI, this prima facie results in denial of market access for the potential app distributors/app store developers in violation of competition norms. Further, such practices prima facie results in limiting/restricting the technical or scientific development of the services related to app store for iOS, due to reduced pressure on Apple to continuously innovate and improve its own app store, which is also in violation of competition rules, the order said. Citing these factors, the regulator has ordered a detailed probe by its Director General (DG).