Apple Facing Antitrust Probe Over 'Sign in With Apple' and Other Developer Complaints

The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating complaints from developers over Apple's "Sign in with Apple" option, reports The Information.

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Introduced in iOS 13, Sign in with Apple is a privacy-focused login option that lets users opt to sign in to an app with their Apple ID, without the need to create a username or share an email address with developers.

Apple requires all App Store apps that offer Google, Facebook, and Twitter sign-in options to also provide a Sign in with Apple alternative (with exceptions for apps that exclusively use third-party accounts like Gmail and Tweetbot), which some developers are unhappy with.

Developers complaints filed last summer are now being investigated by U.S. antitrust regulators, according to sources that spoke to The Information. The U.S. DoJ is looking into how Apple uses its sign-in button and "other ‌App Store‌ rules that make it difficult for users to switch to a rival device maker."

The probe is examining Apple's control over the ‌App Store‌, the fees that it charges developers, and complaints on restrictions on location tracking and other forms of tracking that Apple's own apps are not subject to.

Apple spokesman Fred Sainz declined to comment on the antitrust investigation when queried by The Information, but said that the Sign in With Apple feature is designed to give customers a privacy-focused alternative to sign in options provided by other companies.

The Department of Justice has not yet decided whether to sue Apple, and that decision could take months. Facebook and Google are also facing antitrust investigations, and lawsuits have already been filed against them.

U.S. antitrust regulators last year launched an investigation into Apple's ‌App Store‌ fees and policies. Led by the U.S. House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee, the inquiry ultimately likened Apple, Google. Facebook, and Amazon to oil barons and railroad tycoons.

The committee released a 450 page report highlighting CEO interviews, over 1.3 million documents, and findings from hearings with app developers. The report recommended new antitrust laws after concluding that Apple had a monopoly over the distribution of software apps on iOS devices.

Apple is also facing antitrust investigations from in the European Union,Australia, Russia, Germany, and Italy, and has been fined by France and South Korea.

Top Rated Comments

FaustsHausUK Avatar
39 months ago
They don't like it because I can finally hide my real email address and not get spammed to oblivion.
Score: 88 Votes (Like | Disagree)
poematik13 Avatar
39 months ago
scumbag devs hate it when users can protect themselves from them lol
Score: 34 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Doomtomb Avatar
39 months ago
It is a bit of a lock-in to Apple's ecosystem using sign-in with Apple but I prefer that it's the only one that doesn't share my email address with everyone under the sun.
Score: 30 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Apple_Robert Avatar
39 months ago
I like this feature and hope that it stays.
Score: 30 Votes (Like | Disagree)
I7guy Avatar
39 months ago
Wait, what? App store rules make it difficult to switch to another device makers. Does Windows make it easy to switch to Linux?
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MauiPa Avatar
39 months ago

I support this investigation - I think that requiring all devs to implement this is super anti-competitive and is a thorn in the side for many developers that have to support this in cases where it clearly messes up the flow of their registration process.
How so? simply giving the customer a choice is not anti-competitive in the least. developers cn include as many as they want, so can you explain why you say what you do?
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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