Rajasthan-based organisation files anti-trust case against Apple over in-app payment issues: Report

The sailing isn’t quite smooth for Apple Inc right now, as it is facing an anti-trust challenge in India. Reuters reports the company has been taking undue advantage of its dominant position in the app market by forcing developers to use its proprietary in-app purchase system.

Together We Fight Society, a Rajasthan-based not-for-profit organisation, has filed the case claiming the company’s fee of up to 30 percent raises the costs for app developers and users, while also blocking new app developers from entering the market. The case alleges how forcing developers to only use in-app payment solutions are anti-competitive, destabilising the country's payment processors, who offer their services at significantly lower charges, in the range of just one to five percent.

"The existence of the 30 percent commission means that some app developers will never make it to the market. This could also result in consumer harm," reads the filing.

The case alleges how developers being forced to use the in-app payment solutions is anti-competitive. Image: Jan Kuss via Pixabay

Back in 2020, Apple faced similar allegations in the European Union, where regulators investigated the company's policy update of imposing an in-app fee of 30 percent for the distribution of paid digital content, along with other restrictions.

The Indian filing will be reviewed by the Competition Commission of India (CCI). The statutory body may order its investigations arm to conduct a deeper probe into the case.

Last week, South Korea approved a bill banning Google and Apple from forcing software developers to use their payment systems and “inappropriately” delaying app reviews.

Recently, Apple has relaxed some of the restrictions for developers across the world. It has now allowed them to use email and alike, to include some payment alternatives outside of their iOS app.

Although the US firm retained a ban on allowing other forms of payment options inside apps, it may allow some of the apps to provide customers an in-app link to bypass Apple's purchase system.

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