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Apple seeks dismissal of India apps market antitrust case, cites tiny market share

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NEW DELHI — Apple Inc has requested India’s antitrust watchdog to throw out a case alleging abuse of market energy within the apps market, saying it’s too small a participant within the South Asian nation the place Google is dominant, a submitting seen by Reuters exhibits.

The submitting was made after the Competitors Fee of India (CCI) began reviewing allegations https://reut.rs/3yBIXdm that Apple hurts competitors by forcing app builders to make use of its proprietary system which may cost commissions of as much as 30% on in-app purchases.

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Apple denied the allegations in its submitting to the CCI and burdened that its market share in India is an “insignificant” 0-5%, whereas Google instructions 90-100% as its Android working system powers most different smartphones.

“Apple is just not dominant within the Indian market … With out dominance, there will be no abuse,” Apple mentioned within the submission dated Nov. 16 which was signed by its Chief Compliance Officer, Kyle Andeer.

“It has already been established that Google is the dominant participant in India,” it added.

Apple and the CCI didn’t reply to a request for remark. A spokesperson for Alphabet Inc’s Google declined to remark when requested about Apple’s assertions within the submitting.

The complainant within the case, a little-known non-profit group known as “Collectively We Struggle Society,” mentioned that Apple with iOS dominates the marketplace for non-licensable cell working techniques.

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Apple countered that in its submitting, saying the complete smartphone market – which incorporates licensable techniques like Android – is the market that needs to be considered.

Apple additionally described the Indian grievance as a “proxy submitting” in its CCI submission, saying that the complainant was “possible performing in live performance with events with whom Apple has ongoing business and contractual disputes globally and/or which have complained to different regulators.”

The U.S. tech firm didn’t give any proof in its submission to help its declare. The non-profit advised Reuters that Apple’s comment was “made to prejudice the thoughts” of the CCI “with none iota of proof.”

Within the coming weeks, the CCI will assessment Apple’s response to the allegations and will order a wider investigation or dismiss the case altogether if it finds no benefit in it. Particulars of CCI investigations are usually not publicly disclosed.

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The CCI is individually conducting an investigation https://www.reuters.com/article/india-google-antitrust/indias-antitrust-body-orders-investigation-into-google-payments-app-in-app-billing-idINKBN27P2BG?edition-redirect=in into Google’s in-app cost system as a part of a broader probe into the corporate after Indian startups final yr voiced concern.

Apple’s iOS powered about 2% of 520 million smartphones in India as of end-2020 with the remainder utilizing Android, in line with Counterpoint Analysis, although it provides that Apple’s smartphone base within the nation has greater than doubled within the final 5 years.

GLOBAL ISSUE

Apple has been grappling with related allegations in different elements of the world. In america, it’s locked in a authorized battle https://www.reuters.com/expertise/epic-games-opposes-apples-effort-pause-antitrust-trial-orders-2021-10-23 with “Fornite” creator Epic Video games over the difficulty and South Korea https://www.reuters.com/expertise/skorea-lawmaker-says-apple-google-not-doing-enough-comply-with-app-store-law-2021-11-16 this yr grew to become the primary nation to ban dominant app retailer operators from forcing builders to make use of their cost techniques.

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Within the European Union https://reut.rs/38nEVZZ, regulators final yr began an investigation into Apple’s in-app charges for distribution of paid digital content material and different restrictions.

Corporations like Apple and Google say their charges cowl the safety and advertising and marketing advantages their app shops present.

In its CCI submitting, Apple argued that the in-app commissions it prices are “not unfair or extreme” and have decreased over time, including that it prices decrease charges from small builders.

“Solely a small variety of massive builders, a lot of that are multi-billion-dollar conglomerates, pay the headline charge of 30%,” Apple mentioned.

“Competing platforms have charged related or larger commissions as Apple. Notably, Google has charged a 30% fee on its app retailer,” it mentioned.

(Reporting by Aditya Kalra in New Delhi; Modifying by Edwina Gibbs)

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