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.

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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
23 months ago
More and more countries will follow suit. Good development. ?
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Wildkraut Avatar
23 months 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
23 months 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
23 months 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
23 months 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)
_Spinn_ Avatar
23 months ago

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.
Does no one remember how expensive software used to be before the app store? Prices won't go down with third party payments. I haven't seen any news about apps reducing prices when their fee went to 15%.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)