The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) will investigate whether Apple abuses the position it has attained with its App Store. ACM will do so following indications that ACM has received from other app providers over the course of its market study into app stores. That market study has been published today.
Henk Don, Member of the Board of ACM, explains: ‘To a large degree, app providers depend on Apple and Google for offering apps to users. In the market study, ACM has received indications from app providers, which seem to indicate that Apple abuses its position in the App Store. That is why ACM sees sufficient reason for launching a follow-up investigation, on the basis of competition law.’
This will be a long, protracted legal battle – in multiple European countries.
I wonder how much of this stems from Apple attempting to keep it’s interface from getting out of control? I got a big Android update last night. Some things aren’t working, all the icons are different and … I don’t like them. Things seem very willy nilly on the update. I happen to have a Samsung S8. Great phone, but with an update a lot of things can get broken. Is Apple possibly being accused of this partially because they have tight control on the apps, and an attempting to avoid what I just experienced with my Android update?
I doubt it. I don’t usually agree with these anti-trust suits, but Apple does sometimes abuse its position in regards to the App Store. It’s not as bad as it once was, but it’s still there. They’re talking about installing third-party apps, not the operating system updates.
This is more about Apple being able to tell users, without recourse or appeal, what they can and can’t install. No third-party stores, no side-loading, nothing. It means that, if Apple doesn’t like a developer’s app, that app does not get installed. If Apple doesn’t agree with a developer’s political stance, that app could be removed from the store. If Apple dislikes the content in an app for any reason… you get the idea. Note, that’s not to say they regularly do these things (though it has happened), but they have the power to do these things if the app reviewer (whoever that is at any given time) wishes it.
I don’t mind them having full, even draconian, jurisdiction on their own app store. What I do mind is that I can’t take my business to a different app store to avoid them when necessary.
That being said, I still use Apple devices over Androids, precisely because of the issues you are describing. I got tired of system updates breaking random things and changing everything around for no good reason other than to make it look like they’re doing something.