Together We Fight Society (TWFS) and APPLE are having a spat over competition issues in India. TWFS has alleged that the tech giant’s APPLE fee of up to 30% hurts competition by increasing costs for app developers and customers, while also acting as a barrier to market entry.
The CCI has received the complaint, though it is yet to take a decision on whether the petition requires a probe by its investigation arm, or whether it does not merit any action.
APPLE fee of up to 30% hurts competition by raising costs for app developers and customers
“The existence of the 30% commission means that some app developers will never make it to the market … This could also result in consumer harm,” said the filing, which was first reported by Reuters.
The allegations are similar to a case Apple faces in the European Union, where regulators last year started an investigation into the company’s imposition of an in-app fee of 30% for the distribution of paid digital content and other restrictions.
Apple refused to comment on the matter. The non-profit said it was pursuing the case in the interest of consumers and startups.
Apple’s case in India comes just as South Korea’s parliament this week approved a bill that bans major app store operators like Google and Apple from forcing software developers to use their payment systems.
Companies like Apple and Google say their fee covers the security and marketing benefits their app stores provide, but many companies disagree.
Indian startups publicly voiced concern over a similar in-app payments fee charged by Google, the CCI ordered an investigation into it as part of a broader antitrust probe into the company. That investigation is still on.
The antitrust case against Apple also alleges that its restrictions on how developers communicate with users to offer payment solutions are anticompetitive and also hurt the country’s payment processors who offer services at lower charges in the range of 1-5%.