Monday, May 03, 2010

US FTC & DOJ considering antitrust inquiry into Apple

The New York Post and Reuters are reporting that the US Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice are considering a formal inquiry into Apple's new very restrictive iPhone 4.0 developer requirements, which are essentially designed to exclude third party development platforms such as Adobe's Flash.

The New York Post first reported regulators' interest in Apple's policy, which essentially requires people who write apps to choose between writing them only for Apple or for Apple's rivals.

The agencies are expected within days to make a decision on which would handle the investigation, the Post reported.

"What they're (Apple) doing is clearly anticompetitive ... They want one superhighway and they're the tollkeeper on that superhighway," said David Balto, a former FTC policy director.

This will prove interesting if the FTC/DOJ does move forward.

[Update 2010-05-03]

The Wall Street Journal is now also reporting the interest from the FTC/DOJ.

Also mentioned in the WSJ article is the FTC's interest in Apple's new ad service for iPhone OS 4.0, called iAd.

Apple's new language forbidding apps from transmitting analytical data could prevent ad networks from being able to effectively target ads, potentially giving Apple's new iAd mobile-advertising service an edge, executives at ad networks say.