Apple faces antitrust complaint on apps

Services brought in US$7.3bil in revenue for Apple in the three months through July 1. — Reuters
Services brought in US$7.3bil in revenue for Apple in the three months through July 1. — Reuters

11 August, 2017

A busy legal year for Apple Inc.

Apple has been facing multiple challenges in China. They argue that Apple is engaging in monopolistic behavior when it removes apps from the store without giving any explanation of why it did so.

In a complaint filed with the National Development and Reform Commission and the State Administration for Industry & Commerce, the group, represented by Attorney Lin Wei of Beijing Dare & Sure law firm, said the U.S. tech giant violates the country's antitrust laws by removing apps from its App Store without detailed explanation and charging excessive fees for in-app purchases, the newspaper said. In addition, the developers are accusing Apple of charging excessive fees for in-app purchases.

Apple removed almost 60,000 Chinese apps in June, as part of a broader push to delete apps that did not meet its app store guidelines, according to data analysis platform ASO 100.

An Apple spokeswoman told Reuters that guidelines for publishing apps on the App Store were consistent across all countries, and that it was in the process of expanding its local developer relations team. 9To5Mac later reported that both agencies failed to respond when asked to comment on the case.

China made more money for Apple's App Store previous year than any other country, according to research firm IDC.

Apple is stepping up efforts to boost revenue from services, after a continuing decline in its smartphone sales in the country. The company recently came under fire for removing VPN apps there, which allowed users to circumvent China's censorship laws and view non-government-approved content.

Li Yi, chief researcher at the internet research center of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, said app store revenue is of increasing importance to Apple.

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