FTC Looking Into Claims That Apple's App Store Policies Violate Antitrust Laws

FTC Looking Into Claims That Apple's App Store Policies Violate Antitrust Laws

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The FTC is looking into claims that Apple's App Store violates antitrust law, following the launch of Apple Music, reports Reuters.

Apple takes a 30% cut of all in-app purchases including music streaming subscriptions, digital goods, and more. For some industries, 30% is a big portion of their profit margins. As $9.99 is the industry standard for streaming music services, it's possible that if rivals charged a higher subscription price (to offset Apple's cut), they'd lose customers to Apple Music.

One solution to avoid the 30% cut, is to have customers signup for subscriptions outside of the App Store; however, Apple's guidelines prevent apps from presenting this as an option.

Two of the industry sources say that the antitrust concerns focus on restrictions in the App Store. These include a prohibition on advertising in the app that the company is on other platforms, a ban on marketing in the app that consumers can also buy directly from the company's website, and a ban on linking to a company's website from within the app. These restrictions apply to all apps, not just music streaming apps.

Antitrust lawyers are reportedly split on whether Apple's policies violate antitrust law. Some feel as though Apple's rules are undoubtedly aggressive but still legal. Those critical of Apple may be looking for the FTC to use Section Five of the FTC Act which prohibits "unfair or deceptive acts or practices."

The FTC has yet to launch a formal investigation. We'll let you know how the situation progresses. Please follow iClarified on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or RSS for updates.

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FTC Looking Into Claims That Apple's App Store Policies Violate Antitrust Laws
Great - July 12, 2015 at 5:50pm
Apple should be allowed to practice what they believe in and not be discriminated. Oh wait, maybe they should promote link equality. Hmm...
King Rollo - July 12, 2015 at 7:03am
I can't see anything is hidden.. Just government trying to run business... Look how the government run their business and how much money it has...
thaiwest - July 13, 2015 at 3:11am
"Look how the government run their business and how much money it has..." KIK,,,Reakky, maybe, just maybe the gov ought to sub out the finances to Apple... If anyone can argue that Apple can't handle that better than the US gov, let them speak up now or forever hold their peace!
thaiwest - July 12, 2015 at 5:03am
After reading the article "FBI AND DOJ TARGET NEW ENEMY IN CRYPTO WARS: APPLE AND GOOGLE" from Unofficial Sources, I'd have to wonder if it isn't the gov just looking for ways to go after Apple through any door they can...
NutCrackingWindy - July 11, 2015 at 6:20pm
Again, none of these companies or streaming services are forced to sell their products with Apple. If you don't like the terms there are many other platforms you can go to.
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