Thu. Jan 20th, 2022

The order comes in response to allegations that Apple is abusing its dominant position in the application market.

India’s rival watchdog has ordered an investigation into Apple Inc’s business practices in the country, saying it was initially believed the iPhone maker had violated certain antitrust laws.

The India Competition Commission (CCI) order on Friday comes after a nonprofit group claimed that Apple was abusing its dominant position in the application market by forcing developers to use its own in-app purchasing system.

The plaintiff, Together We Fight Society, argued that Apple’s imposition of a 30 percent in-app fee for the distribution of paid digital content and other restrictions would hamper competition by increasing costs for application developers and customers, while also serving as a act as a barrier to market entry.

The CCI said Apple’s restrictions prima facie lead to denial of market access for potential application developers and distributors.

“At this stage, the Commission is convinced that a prima facie case is being taken against Apple that deserves investigation,” it said.

Apple did not respond to requests for comment.

The company denied the allegations in a submission to the CCI in November, seen by the Reuters news agency, and asked the regulator to throw out the case, emphasizing that its market share in India was an “insignificant” 0-5 percent.

However, CCI said in the order that Apple’s argument about its market share was “completely misguided”, as the allegations were about anti-competitive restrictions on application developers and not end users.

The allegations are similar to a case Apple is facing in the European Union, where regulators launched an investigation into the US tech giant last year.

The CCI ordered its investigation unit to complete the investigation and submit a report within 60 days of the order. Typically, such investigations last for several months.

The watchdog is conducting a separate investigation into Google’s in-app payment system as part of a broader investigation into the company after Indian beginners expressed concern last year.

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