Cupertino-based tech giant Apple has urged India’s antitrust authority, the Competition Commission of India (CCI), to throw out a case that makes market power abuse allegations against it.
According to media reports, Apple says that it’s too small a player in India where Google’s Android and Google Play Store dominate.
The filings were made after the CCI reviewed allegations that Apple hurts competition by forcing app developers to use its proprietary app ecosystem which charges commissions of up to 30% on app and in-app purchases.
The complaint was made by Jaipur-based non-profit Together We Fight Society (TWFS), according to the filing accessed by Reuters. In a similar case in the United States last year, mobile game developer Epic Games had sued Apple after the iPhone maker removed the former’s popular game Fortnite from its app store.
Apple had justified the removal by saying the developer broke its rules by directing users towards making purchases outside Apple’s app store and circumventing the commission that the smartphone maker usually charges on such transactions.
The ruling mostly came out in Apple’s favour but with one caveat: the judge’s ruling said that Apple cannot stop developers from “including in their apps and their metadata buttons, external links, or other calls to action that direct customers to purchasing mechanisms, in addition to In-App Purchasing,”
In September 2020, Google had stated that it would begin charging a 30% cut on all transactions for developers selling apps and other digital goods using the Google Play Store and its in-app payment systems. It also sought to remove all other payment gateways from its apps, restricting users to Google’s proprietary payment systems.
This policy would have come into effect from January this year but has been delayed till April 2022 after facing backlash from developers and other stakeholders. Both Google and Apple have been facing intense scrutiny over their decisions to charge developers such heft commissions.