Apple and Google control the distribution and in-app purchases on their devices via App Store and Play Store, respectively. Recently, both companies have been under the radar of antitrust regulators who accuse that Apple and Google stifle competition by forcing developers to abide by their rules and complying with their in-app payment structure.
Now, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is considering rules and regulations which would “force” the tech giants to open their app stores by allowing third-party app stores on their devices.
Accusing Apple and Google of a duopoly, Australian regulators seek international coherence and alignment to effectively tackle their domination of apps distribution
As per the Guardian, ACCC interim reports found that Apple and Google face very little competition in the digital platforms and primarily they compete with each other. Therefore, to make the space more competitive, the ACCC suggested that both companies are crushing the competition by making developers abide by their rules and this control needs to be regulated. According to the advance copy of ACCC chief, Rod Sims speech for the Global Competition Review webinar, he will say that;
“It is likely, however, that upfront rules and regulation may be needed to achieve these objectives. We are closely following overseas moves that aim to address the same competition and consumer concerns that we have identified.”
However, Sims noted that for more effective regulatory measures an “international coherence and alignment” effort is required.
“The key point … is that while these enforcement actions and market studies are necessary to tackle the problems arising from dominant digital platforms, they are not enough on their own.
Our own work at the ACCC must be tailored to match our own issues and concerns. But although the finer details of our approaches may vary, competition authorities can still achieve successful global outcomes by aligning their approaches to both enforcement and regulation.
This will include alignment around upfront regulation and rules as well as enforcement. The competitiveness, and the level and type of innovation in our economy, requires this.”
Unlike Google, Apple does not have another alternative for users to download apps other than App Store. And for the apps to get listed on the digital marketplace, they have to go through the App Store’s review process and comply with the store’s rules, violators are removed. Epic Games which has stirred the international regulatory authorities against Apple, calls the App Store a walled garden and it appears regulators are agreeing with the developer.