Apple Could Face Investigation in India Over App Store In-App Purchase System

Apple could be facing a widespread investigation into the App Store in India, and more specifically, the company's in-app purchasing system, which grants it a 15% to 30% commission for all purchases made, reports Reuters.

app store blue banner
The Competition Commission of India (CCI), which oversees cases of possible anti-competitive and antitrust behavior, is reviewing an antitrust challenge case against Apple presented by a non-profit Indian group. The group claims, in their case, that Apple's standard 30% commission for in-app purchases "hurts competition" since it raises costs for both the developer and the customer.

"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 has been seen by Reuters.

Apple has already faced countless similar cases worldwide, including in the European Union and by developer groups in the United States. In its current stage, the case is not prompting a more exhaustive investigation by the Indian government. Instead, Reuters says that it will be reviewed by the CCI in the coming weeks, possibly leading to a probe.

The group behind the case is ultimately asking for Apple to allow third-party payment methods into its app, allowing developers to bypass its 15% to 30% commission. The new case was reported just hours after Apple announced that, beginning sometime next year, it will allow "reader" apps to link users to external websites for purchases.

The new policy change is the second of just the past few weeks. Last week, Apple conceded to allow developers to email users about payment methods available outside of their apps. However, the new changes stop short of not requiring developers to use the company's proprietary in-app purchasing system and instead allows them to just add a clearly distinguished link to an external website for payment.

Top Rated Comments

aidler Avatar
4 weeks ago
More and more countries will follow suit. Good development. ?
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Wildkraut Avatar
4 weeks ago
As I said, Apple is being sued around the world(US,EU,AU,UK, now India too and more to come). Of course all these lawsuits and antitrust monopoly/duopoly trials will have different outcomes, but overall this will lead to multiple AppStores, multiple Payments Platforms, Open NFC hardware access and the beloved sideloading.
Hate the outcomes, but face it, I will ❤️ it.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
laptech Avatar
4 weeks ago
Please be extremely clear in your reporting because in a very similar article on the matter you quoted Apple as saying that they will allow app developers to provide a in-app link to the developers website for 'account management' purposes only. 'account management' does not mean 'allow link to external website for payment'. No where has Apple said they will allow an app developer to provide an in-app link for external payments.

Please provide the evidence where Apple has expressly said they will allow app developers to provide in-app links to external websites for payments to take place. If you cannot find it please remove any reference to allowing links to external websites for payment because it's going beyond journalist license to write something that is not true.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cardfan Avatar
4 weeks ago

Please be extremely clear in your reporting because in a very similar article on the matter you quoted Apple as saying that they will allow app developers to provide a in-app link to the developers website for 'account management' purposes only. 'account management' does not mean 'allow link to external website for payment'. No where has Apple said they will allow an app developer to provide an in-app link for external payments.

Please provide the evidence where Apple has expressly said they will allow app developers to provide in-app links to external websites for payments to take place. If you cannot find it please remove any reference to allowing links to external websites for payment because it's going beyond journalist license to write something that is not true.
From apple.com: https://www.apple.com/newsroom/2021/09/japan-fair-trade-commission-closes-app-store-investigation/. Apple will also help developers of reader apps protect users when they link them to an external website to make purchases.

Looks clear enough to me.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
CarlJ Avatar
4 weeks ago

As I said, Apple is being sued around the world(US,EU,AU,UK, now India too and more to come). Of course all these lawsuits and antitrust monopoly/duopoly trials will have different outcomes, but overall this will lead to multiple AppStores, multiple Payments Platforms, Open NFC hardware access and the beloved sideloading.
Hate the outcomes, but face it, I will ❤️ it.
Hurrah! Let's take away consumer choice! Now, instead of choosing between the Apple way of doing things (walled garden, etc.) and the Google way, we'll all only have the Google way available. You get what you wanted, and everyone else gets... what you wanted, instead of maybe what they wanted. Great outcome.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
I7guy Avatar
4 weeks ago

Yes I see that but it means Apple are also guilty of making the same contradiction error:

Quoted from the same article


So if according to Apple 'reader apps' do not offer in-app digital goods and services for purchase, just exactly what is Apple going to help users purchase?

If someone writes an article that is not very clear or is in some parts in contradiction of what they have written, they do not just copy verbatim from their source material. They are to investigate the written source and make sure it makes sense. Apple is guilty of contradicting themselves and for not making sense and MR is guilty of doing the same.

If Apple's intention is to allow or specifically allow app developers to provide in-app links to external websites for the purpose of making purchases then why doesn't Apple make this very clear instead of stating, and i quote from the same article:


If 'set up or manage an account' implicitly implies that app developers can provide in-app links to external websites for the purpose of making purchases then why not say so? People are assumng it means just that but you cant make assumptions here, the information needs to be factual, precise and clear and it is not. Both Apple and MR have written an article that clearly contradicts themselves which should not be allowed to happen.
Reader apps...digital content consumption apps like Netflix will be allowed to say go to "www . netflix . com" to sign up.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

app store blue banner

South Korea Could Ban Apple From Requiring Developers to Use In-App Purchase System

Tuesday August 24, 2021 10:31 am PDT by
South Korea may soon ban Apple and Google from requiring app developers to use their in-app purchase systems, reports Reuters. South Korea's legislation and judiciary committee is expected to approve an "Anti-Google Law" that amends the existing Telecommunications Business Act. It will require Apple and Google to allow third-party payment methods in their app stores in South Korea, and it...
app store vs developers

Apple's Planned App Store Changes Will Barely Affect the Company's Bottom Line, Says Analyst

Wednesday September 8, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
As a result of legal and regulatory pressures, Apple recently announced some upcoming changes to its App Store policies, such as letting developers email customers about payment options available outside of their iOS app and allowing "reader" apps like Spotify and Netflix to include an in-app link to their website for account signup. Apple said the changes "will help make the App Store an...
app store blue banner

Apple Letting 'Reader' Apps Offer Links for Account Sign Ups Outside of the App Store to Close Japan Investigation

Wednesday September 1, 2021 5:09 pm PDT by
Apple today announced that the Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) has agreed to close its App Store investigation in exchange for changes to how "reader" apps like Netflix operate. Reader apps allow users to browse previously purchased content or content subscriptions for digital magazines, newspapers, books, audio, music, and video. Going forward, developers that create "reader" apps will...
app store blue banner

Some Developers Say Apple Letting Apps Like Netflix and Spotify Share a Link to Web for Account Sign-Up Isn't Enough

Thursday September 2, 2021 9:12 am PDT by
Apple on Wednesday evening announced that, starting in early 2022, it will allow developers of "reader" apps to include an in-app link to their website for users to set up or manage an account. "Reader" apps allow a user to access previously purchased content or subscription-based content for digital magazines, newspapers, books, audio, music, and video, according to Apple, such as Netflix,...
General App Store South Korea Feature Feature

South Korea Passes Bill Banning Apple From Requiring Developers to Use App Store In-App Purchase System

Tuesday August 31, 2021 3:12 am PDT by
South Korea today passed a bill that bans Apple and Google from requiring developers to use their own respective in-app purchasing systems, allowing developers to charge users using third-party payment methods, The Wall Street Journal reports. The bill was originally supposed to be voted on yesterday, however, more urgent matters presented to South Korea's National Assembly meant the bill...
Mac App Store General Feature

South Korea Delays Bill That Would Ban Apple From Requiring Developers to Use In-App Purchase System

Monday August 30, 2021 7:07 am PDT by
South Korea has delayed voting on a bill that would ban Apple and Google from requiring developers to use their in-app purchasing systems, a move that would open the door to allowing third-party payment methods, representing a possible significant threat to Apple and Google's app marketplace business models. The bill, coming in the form of an amendment to the existing Telecommunications...
app store blue banner

Apple Pays $100 Million to Settle Developer Lawsuit and Agrees to Multiple App Store Changes

Thursday August 26, 2021 5:08 pm PDT by
Apple today announced plans to make several changes to the App Store in order to settle a class-action lawsuit that was brought against Apple by developers in the United States. Under the terms of the deal, Apple will let developers use communication methods like email to tell customers about payment methods available outside of iOS apps, and it will expand the price points that developers...
twitter super follows app store

Twitter Super Follows Use a Bizarre System That Gives Each User Their Own In-App Purchase

Thursday September 2, 2021 4:59 am PDT by
Each Twitter Super Follow subscription is an individual in-app purchase for every account with the feature set up, it has emerged. Screenshot from Jane Manchun Wong showing Twitter's in-app purchases on its App Store page. The unusual system, spotted by Jane Manchun Wong, means that for every Super Follow there is an individual in-app purchase for that account specifically. Some observers are ...
app store gold banner

Notice to Developers: You Could Be Entitled to Between a $250 and $30,000 Payment From Apple

Friday August 27, 2021 6:55 am PDT by
Apple on Thursday evening announced it has reached a $100 million settlement that, pending court approval, will resolve a class action lawsuit from U.S. developers who alleged that Apple has a monopoly on the distribution of iOS apps and in-app purchases. As part of the settlement, some U.S. developers would be entitled to receive a payment from Apple, so long as they meet certain...
USB C Over Lightning Feature

EU Proposes to Force Apple to Switch iPhone, iPad, and AirPods From Lightning to USB-C

Thursday September 23, 2021 4:57 am PDT by
The European Commission has presented legislation that would compel Apple to use a USB-C port on all iPhones, iPads, and AirPods in Europe (via Reuters). The proposal, known as a directive, would force all consumer electronics manufacturers who sell devices in Europe to ensure that all smartphones, tablets, cameras, headphones, portable speakers, handheld videogame consoles feature a USB-C...