Apple is facing a probe by India’s chief national competition regulator, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) over allegations the company abused its dominant market position in the Indian app market, in the process violating antitrust laws.
The CCI will begin an investigation into Apple’s business practices to ascertain if the iPhone maker is hurting competition in the app market.
The probe is coming after a non-profit group: ‘Together We Fight Society’, had levelled various allegations against Apple Inc, part of them being that the company is forcing app developers to comply with its in-app fee system, unilaterally driving up developers cost by insisting on a 30 percent fee for using their distribution platform, an action the group believes hurts overall competition, while dominating non-licensable mobile operating systems.
The CCI in a statement while acknowledging the receipt of the allegations brought against Apple said:
“The Commission at this stage is convinced that a prima facie case is made out against Apple which merits investigation”.
Apple on its own while speaking to Reuters denied the allegations, while urging the regulators to disregard the case as it lacks substance, while citing that their market share in the country was “insignificant,” less than 5 percent.
The CCI while responding to Apple’s defence noted that the petition filed against them is more about the anti-competitive nature of their business practices rather than their market share in India, adding that this has nothing to do with their influence or size in the market.
The regulator will hope to complete their probe while deriving a full report from it within 60 days, with the report expected to draw up a conclusive decision that would be faster as against long period of investigations.
Google in-app payment system is also facing a similar probe, being part of an enormous scope of antitrust probes that seeks to address the concerns of Indian startups voiced in the previous year.
a statutory body within the Ministry of Corporate Affairs and is responsible for enforcing the Competition Act, 2002 in order to promote competition and prevent activities that have an appreciable adverse effect on competition in India. The CCI looks into cases and investigate it if the same has negative impact on competition
Established on 14 October 2003, the CCI has the mandate to eliminate practices having adverse effect on competition, promote and sustain competition, protect the interests of consumers and ensure freedom of trade in the markets of India.