Indian trade body calls for 'urgent' App Store regulation

Posted:
in iOS
The Alliance of Digital India Foundation (ADIF) has issued a study of the App Store and Google Play Store, concluding that the stores are powerful, but it's hard to determine what would be fair pricing.

App Store on an iPhone
App Store on an iPhone


Apple is a key contributor to the Indian economy, and has recently expanded local production even as it and Google's app stores come under regulator scrutiny. Now the ADIF has released a study into how Apple and Google's app policies affect Indian developers.

"The dominant position enjoyed by the gatekeepers of the app ecosystem can severely hurt competition and innovation in the market," said Sijo Kuruvilla George, the Executive Director of ADIF, in a statement, "while also adversely affecting the ecosystem in many ways."

"It's thus commendable that legislators are taking notice of such issues and actively taking steps to address the anti-competition practices of big players," he continued. "The need of the hour is a balanced approach."

In announcing its findings, the ADIF says that, "there is an urgent need to ensure fair competition and improved choices for both developers and consumers." However, the 14,000-word full report then resorts to being a summary of specific antitrust cases being conducted by other countries, rather than proposing any action itself.

Repeatedly, it refers to how, "it is difficult to determine the fair rates of commission" for app stores, primarily because it says that developers have few options.

"In the absence of competition," it says, "what is fair is not a straightforward question to answer, especially given the information asymmetry that plagues the relationship between developers and app store operators."

It sets out to "determine the need, if any, for government intervention," but then does not do that. The report instead repeats this line about "the need of the hour is a balanced approach," and concludes that any legislation "is likely to come with its own set of challenges."

Separately, Apple has been amending its App Store policies in order to forestall regulations, though typically the changes present only minimal risk to the company's revenue.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 12
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,946member
    Tired of this. Apple had to make so many concessions just to sell in India, now they’re going after the App Store. Typical power and money grab. Doesn’t have anything to do with the vast majority of customers. WE JUST WANT EVERYTHING TO WORK! India can’t provide this, other app stores can’t guarantee this, no government can provide this. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 12
    MrBunsideMrBunside Posts: 31member
    “Wait, where’s our cut?” - India, probably 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 12
    mac_dogmac_dog Posts: 974member
    Rather hypocritical that the business sector is calling for regulation of business. Not ironic—hypocritical. And, only the tech sector, not the pharmaceutical, wallstreet/banking/finance, media, oil, or any other I haven’t mentioned. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 12
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 2,037member
    Oh so another self serving group with an agenda, driven by greed putting out a “research” paper saying that Apple and Google are doing something bad. 
    This is getting to be like infringement lawsuits from patent trolls. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 12
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 2,937member
    Does India really want Apple to charge developers for Xcode and other free things it currently gives them?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 12
    geekmeegeekmee Posts: 560member
    MrBunside said:
    “Wait, where’s our cut?” - India, probably 

    That’s what the “Urgent” is about.

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 12
    jimh2jimh2 Posts: 410member
    There is no competition problem as everyone pays the same rate less a few huge developers and none of these small developers are competing with them. 

    The 30% fee is a cost of doing business no different from federal/local income taxes and property taxes. No one is asking for a break on those. 

    Governments have no business setting price controls and no one has ever forced anyone into app development. You know what you are getting into one day one. There are few if any fields that one can enter with such ease and minimal costs. Plus you get a global audience for your product and don’t need any infrastructure to deliver or get payment for your products. 

    We’re I Apple I’d start breaking out the 30% as line items (bandwidth, app review, being added to the store, storage, periodic review for comparability, etc.)
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 12
    retrogustoretrogusto Posts: 949member
    Does India really want Apple to charge developers for Xcode and other free things it currently gives them?
    Not to mention all of the free apps for which they receive 0% commission. I bet if they average out their commissions including those with lower rates and 0%, the overall figure would compare very favorably to rates charged by other retail businesses, let alone comparing them to the terms under which companies like Epic would allow third-party sales on their own platforms.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 12
    JinTechJinTech Posts: 872member
    jimh2 said:
    There is no competition problem as everyone pays the same rate less a few huge developers and none of these small developers are competing with them. 

    The 30% fee is a cost of doing business no different from federal/local income taxes and property taxes. No one is asking for a break on those. 

    Governments have no business setting price controls and no one has ever forced anyone into app development. You know what you are getting into one day one. There are few if any fields that one can enter with such ease and minimal costs. Plus you get a global audience for your product and don’t need any infrastructure to deliver or get payment for your products. 

    We’re I Apple I’d start breaking out the 30% as line items (bandwidth, app review, being added to the store, storage, periodic review for comparability, etc.)
    I completely agree, it would be nice to see Apple show exactly what the 30% goes towards. Governments, and some greedy developers, seem to think it is totally free to run an App Store and there is absolutely, no cost at all involved. Even if it cost Apple 15% of the 30, and the other 15 is profit, Apple has a right to make a profit off a product they are offering!
    edited May 18 watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 12
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,143member
    rob53 said:
    Tired of this. 
    Why didn't you say so earlier!  I'm sure ADIF will stop once you let them know.  Man, they'll be so embarrassed.
  • Reply 11 of 12
    mcdavemcdave Posts: 1,913member
    "The dominant position enjoyed by the gatekeepers of the app ecosystem can severely hurt competition and innovation in the market," - I’d like to see anyone prove this. The only examples I’ve seen are for monopolised competitive markets but iOS/iPadOS never had this model.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 12
    JinTechJinTech Posts: 872member
    mcdave said:
    "The dominant position enjoyed by the gatekeepers of the app ecosystem can severely hurt competition and innovation in the market," - I’d like to see anyone prove this. The only examples I’ve seen are for monopolised competitive markets but iOS/iPadOS never had this model.
    Not to mention, Apple pretty much provide tools and APIs to the app ecosystem for next to free. Sure there are some things that you cannot touch within the iOS but Apple provides a hell of a lot to work with for developers. So say there are third-party app stores. Is it fair for Apple to provide all of their APIs and tools for free for the development of apps, only to be sold on other app stores where the other hosts reap the monetary benefits?
    watto_cobra
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