Apple Defends Ecosystem in Australia as Antitrust Firefighting Around the World Continues

Apple has robustly defended its ecosystem in a submission to Australia's competition watchdog, amid growing global scrutiny of the power of big tech companies and "gatekeeping."

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The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has scrutinized Apple's ecosystem in a series of investigations since last year and encouraged the company to give users more control over preinstalled apps and services. In a detailed response to the ACCC's Digital Platform Services Inquiry Discussion Paper, Apple argued that proposed changes to its ecosystem "would reduce incentives for dynamic firms like Apple to innovate and develop new and differentiated products" and expose users to a "far less secure and private environment."

Apple is puzzled that the competition and consumer protection agency would prioritise purported competition concerns which lack cogent evidence of harm, over clear and present severe damage to users that they experience every day. That is not what consumers want to see as outcomes of legislative reform - they want stronger, not weaker, protection - from the unlawful conduct which affects the hundreds of thousands of Australians every year whose information is stolen, scammed, traded and exploited to their detriment.

Apple highlighted confidential data that it submitted to the ACCC that shows there is "a meaningful, consistent, and upward-trending willingness of users to switch between devices and platforms, and an ongoing capacity for them to do so." The company also argued that it competes with "other software distribution platforms to attract developers to the App Store," citing web apps as an example of "an alternative means for developers to distribute apps to iOS users."

Australia is among the many countries now heavily scrutinizing Apple's ecosystem and threatening pervasive legislation in an attempt to force changes, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, South Korea, the European Union, and more, with a clear appetite from global regulators to explore requirements around app store policies, app sideloading, and interoperability.

See Apple's full response to the ACCC for more information.

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Top Rated Comments

BootsWalking Avatar
26 months ago
Uh oh, yet another continent the faithful will say Apple should pull out of. There's always Antarctica.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jakey rolling Avatar
26 months ago

Maybe apple should put Australia in its rear view mirror.
There it is.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Macative Avatar
26 months ago
Had Apple not locked down iOS in the beginning, and ran it much more like macOS from the start...does anyone truly believe: 1) they would have made any less money (measurably)? 2) the iPhone would not be secure?

Both ideas are very doubtful.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DBZmusicboy01 Avatar
26 months ago
This decade has been Anti everything good :(
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jakey rolling Avatar
26 months ago

No it isn't.

If devs choose to leave the Apple App Store to either go it alone or be exclusively in another store we as consumers lose:
[LIST=1]
* The convenience of a one stop shop for app purchases and updates
* The security/privacy of Apple's payment system versus others
* The very clear privacy declarations that the Apple store requires.

Here's the thing - none of those things will go away. Apple will still have a store, and you can still rest cozy in your little well-protected walled garden with your iNanny watching over you, if you want. All you need to do is not buy apps from other stores. While that might be a tad inconvenient because you really really want that killer app - that still becomes your choice, instead of Apple's. And it's still a far less invasive suggestion than you walled-garden fans telling us to ditch our iPhones and switch to Android every time this subject comes up.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dguisinger Avatar
26 months ago
I'm going to keep saying it, they should have found a middle ground early on. Its going to be death by a 1000 paper cuts with conflicting rules from every authority on the planet if they don't cave on some things and strike a balance...and its probably too late.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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