Following the footsteps of other antitrust bodies around the world, India’s competition watchdog has also ordered an investigation into Apple’s App Store business practices. The Competition Commission of India (CCI) claims that Apple is abusing its dominant position in the app market by forcing developers to use its own payment system.
The complaint was filed by “Together We Fight Society” and said that Apple’s 30% commission on in-app purchases was raising the barrier for entry by developers and impacted competition. As per the CCI, Apple’s App Store restrictions mean that a prima facie case is made against the company which merits investigation.
App Store faces antitrust investigations in India
Apple, for its part, denied the allegations in its response to the CCI, and asked for the case to be thrown out. The company said that its market share is between 0-5% and called it insignificant.
CCI said that Apple’s response was misdirected and the allegations regarding anti-competitive restrictions were by app developers and not end-users, which implies that the company does not need to have a dominant market share to be considered for an antitrust investigation.
Interestingly, Google’s in-app payments are also part of a similar investigation for anti-competitive business practices.
For next steps, CCI will complete its investigation and submit a report within 60 days. However, the investigation is expected to take much longer due to its nature.
Apple is facing similar investigations by the European Union and faces scrutiny in the United States for potential investigation. Even other countries like Russia and Korea have taken the legal route to force Apple to offer alternative payment systems in the App Store.