Indian Nonprofit Cites Apple Fees in Antitrust Complaint

Apple India

In-app payment issues are at the forefront of an antitrust complaint against Apple by an Indian nonprofit group, which went to the Competition Commission of India (CCI) to make a case against the Silicon Valley technology giant, Reuters reported Thursday (Sept. 2), citing sources and documents it examined.

The nonprofit Together We Fight Society has launched allegations against Apple regarding anti-competitive App Store policies and points to Apple’s commissions of up to 30 percent as a barrier to both competition and the overall cost of app creation.

Apple is also facing an investigation with similar claims in the European Union (EU) over the tech giant’s in-app fee of up to 30 percent for the distribution of paid digital content and the enforcement of additional restrictions.

See also: Apple Hit With EU Antitrust Violations

“The existence of the 30 percent commission means that some app developers will never make it to the market … This could also result in consumer harm,” according to the filing seen by Reuters.

The CCI is planning to examine the case and could direct that a wider investigation take place, or it could dismiss the context altogether if it doesn’t find merit, per Reuters.

“There are high chances that an investigation can be ordered, also because the EU has been probing this,” the source told Reuters. Details of the case have not been made public.

Together We Fight Society is based in India’s western state of Rajasthan. The organization told Reuters it moved ahead with a case because it believes that customers and startup businesses in the country could be guarded.

The CCI is already in the midst of a similar case against Google and its in-app payments policies.

Related reading: Indian Watchdog Launches Google Investigation 

Apple’s iOS-powered phones were used by about 2 percent of the 530 million smartphones in India at the end of last year, according to Counterpoint Research, which also added that the use of Apple phones in the country has grown exponentially since 2016.

Gautam Shahi, a competition law partner at Indian law firm Dua Associates, told Reuters that regardless if companies change how they do business on the basis of allegations, the CCI will dig into past conduct.