Opinion of the competition panel to Apple for abuse of position

India’s Competition Commission has asked Apple Inc to respond to allegations that the tech giant has abused its dominant position through its App Store, forcing start-ups and developers to use only its payment gateway and earn high commissions on in-app purchases. Apple has time until mid-October to respond to the advisory.

The ICC opinion was issued on September 15, a copy of which was seen by Activity area. Following the publication of the submission, the complainant, a Rajasthan-based NGO Together We Fight Society, will have two more weeks to respond.

The association had filed a complaint with the ICC on August 4, alleging that the tech giant had abused its dominant position through the App Store by forcing start-ups and developers to use only its own gateway. payment and pay high commissions of 30 per cent for in-app purchases on the sale of digital goods and services.

The complainant added that this creates a barrier to entry while muzzling competition with other payment gateways that charge a 1.8-2% commission unlike Apple’s 30%. Since Apple has its own offerings in most verticals like Apple Maps and Apple Music, the NGO said this is also targeting competing apps like Spotify.

The ICC is also investigating Google into similar antitrust practices in India. The investigation began in 2019. Sijo Kuruvilla George, executive director of the Alliance of Digital India Foundation (ADIF), said Activity area: “We support Together We Fight Society on this matter. From ADIF’s point of view, we look at the development of the ecosystem. We want to make sure that the markets remain competitive and open. Apple is proprietary software that must open up, while Google is an open platform that seeks to monopolize its market dominance by introducing anti-competitive practices.

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