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Competition Between Apple, Google App Stores To Be Probed By Australian Watchdog

Competition Between Apple, Google App Stores To Be Probed By Australian Watchdog
A probe into the level of competition that exists between the app stores of Apple Inc and Google is to be initiated by the Australia's competition regulator – the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).
The ACCC said that it will also examine whether there is need for greater transparency in terms of pricing for the mobile apps market of Australia.
The ACCC is "interested in how data is used and shared in the app ecosystem, including the data available to Google and Apple as a result of their control of the major app stores," said the organization’s Deputy Chair Delia Rickard in a statement.
No comments about the developed were made by Australian representative of Google and Apple.
The efforts to rein in the reach of the United States based tech giants is ongoing in several parts of the world including in the US and Europe. However the approach of the Australian regulators has been among the most aggressive ones. In fact regulators of the country are the first in the world to try and make the Facebook Inc and Alphabet Inc's Google to make payments to local news sources for using news articles from such sources. This new regulation is set to be implemented soon.
This decision of the Australian regulator also comes at a time when there is a raging battle in court going on between Apple and Epic Games over the manner in which Apple regulates it app store, after the iPhonee maker removed Epic Game’s very widely popular game "Fortnite" from it app store for violating its payment norms.
Epic Games had offered users of its "Fortnite" game for iPhone users to make in-app purchases directly circumventing making payments through the app store. Apple charges a commission of up to 30 per cent on all transactions made through it App Store.
The account of Epic Games on its App Store has since then also been terminated by the iPhone maker.
Reports every six months will be generated by the ACCC by the regulator’s planned five-year inquiry as well as a consumer survey on app purchases by it and use it for the inquiry. A a final report expected by March.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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