Unique-Apple seeks dismissal of India apps market antitrust case, cites tiny market share By Reuters
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A salesperson speaks to a customer at an Apple Reseller Store in Mumbai, India, Sept. 1, 2021. REUTERS / Francis Mascarenhas / File Photo
By Aditya Kalra
NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Apple Inc (NASDAQ 🙂 has asked India’s antitrust regulators to dismiss a case of abuse of market power in the app market because it is too small a player in the South Asian country where Google is dominant, a Filing seen by Reuters shows.
The motion came after the Competition Commission of India (CCI) began investigating allegations that Apple was violating competition by forcing app developers to use its proprietary system that paid commissions of up to 30% on In -App purchases may raise.
Apple rejected the allegations in its filing with the CCI, emphasizing that its market share in India is “insignificant” 0-5%, while Google dominates 90-100% as its Android operating system powers most other smartphones.
“Apple is not dominant in the Indian market … Without dominance there can be no abuse,” Apple said in a November 16 filing signed by its chief compliance officer, Kyle Andeer.
“It has already been established that Google is the dominant player in India,” he added.
Apple and the Chamber of Industry and Commerce did not respond to a request for comment. A spokesman for Alphabet (NASDAQ 🙂 Inc. Google declined to comment on Apple’s claims in the filing.
The complainant in the case, a little-known non-profit group called Together We Fight Society, said that Apple was dominating the market for non-licensable mobile operating systems with iOS.
Apple countered this in its motion, saying that the entire smartphone market – which includes licensable systems like Android – is the market that should be considered.
Apple also described the Indian complaint as a “proxy filing” in its CCI filing, saying that the complainant is “likely acting in consultation with parties with whom Apple has ongoing trade and contractual disputes around the world and / or who have complained to other regulators” .
The US tech company did not provide any evidence to support its claim in its motion. The non-profit told Reuters that Apple’s comment “was made to prejudice the opinion of the CCI,” “without any iota of evidence.”
In the coming weeks, the CCI will review Apple’s response to the allegations and could order a fuller investigation or dismiss the case altogether if it finds no justification in it. Details of CCI investigations will not be publicly disclosed.
The CCI is conducting a separate investigation into Google’s in-app payment system as part of a broader investigation into the company after Indian startups raised concerns last year.
According to Counterpoint Research, Apple’s iOS operated around 2% of 520 million smartphones in India at the end of 2020, with the remainder using Android, although Apple’s smartphone base in the country has more than doubled in the past five years.
Apple has dealt with similar allegations in other parts of the world. In the US, the company is in litigation with “Fornite” inventor Epic Games over the problem, and South Korea became the first country this year to ban dominant app store operators from forcing developers to use their payment systems.
In the European Union https://reut.rs/38nEVZZ, regulators launched an investigation into Apple’s in-app fees for the distribution of paid digital content and other restrictions last year.
Companies like Apple and Google say their fees cover the security and marketing benefits of their app stores.
In its CCI filing, Apple argued that the in-app commissions it charges are “not unfair or excessive” and have declined over time, adding that it charges lower fees from small developers.
“Only a small number of large developers, many of whom are multibillion-dollar corporations, are paying the 30% headline rate,” Apple said.
“Competing platforms charged commissions similar to or higher than Apple. Google in particular has charged a commission of 30% for its app store, ”it says.