FTC believed to be investigating Apple's anti-Flash stance

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has denied a Freedom of Information Act request for documents related to a complaint filed by Adobe against Apple, stating that the release of the information would impede the commission's "law enforcement" duties.



Nearly 200 pages of records regarding Adobe's complaint were requested by Wired this week, and rejected. Adobe filed the paperwork with the FTC after Apple announced it would not allow iOS applications ported from other languages or development environments, such as Flash.



The FTC justified its decision to keep the documents, stating that making them public "could reasonably be expected to interfere with the conduct of the Commission's law enforcement activities." The FTC said that 189 pages are related to the case, but the records are exempt from the FOIA request. The response strongly suggests that the FTC is currently conducting an investigation into the matter.



"The FTC never publicly confirms or denies when an investigation is open or closed, except when it sues or reaches a settlement with a company," author Ryan Singel wrote. "However, both Bloomberg News and the Wall Street Journal reported in May that the FTC had gotten a complaint from Adobe and opened a formal investigation."



The fight between Apple and Adobe came to a head after Adobe announced it would create an application that would allow developers to port software written to Flash to the iPhone. That software would allow developers to circumvent Apple's ban of Adobe Flash from iOS devices, including the iPhone and iPad.



But Apple changed its developer agreement, banning applications written in non-native languages and ported to the iPhone. That prompted Adobe to abandon development of its Flash-to-iPhone porting software, and file a complaint with the FTC.



Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs publicly commented on the matter in an open letter published in late April, in which he slammed Adobe Flash as a Web tool that is unfit for the modern, mobile era of computing. He also said that an intermediary tool for converting Flash applications to the iPhone would produce "sub-standard apps," and would hinder the progress of the platform.



Jobs said he knows from "painful experience" that allowing developers to become dependent on a third-party tool, such as Adobe Flash, rather than writing natively for the iPhone is restrictive. "We cannot be at the mercy of a third party deciding if and when they will make our enhancements available to our developers," Jobs wrote.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 348
    Your taxes at work, defending private interests. Please.
  • Reply 2 of 348
    dr millmossdr millmoss Posts: 5,403member
    Enforcing laws, you mean.
  • Reply 3 of 348
    So Adobe is mad because Apple is keeping developers from using their product to make a product that would end up on Apple's products. I would be mad if I were Adobe too, but a business, like a person, has the right to decide who to do business with - directly or indirectly. Apple isn't stopping developers from using Adobe products - they just can't use it to create something that will be used on an Apple product. Sounds like a pointless, baseless, complaint and a complete waste of time by the FTC.
  • Reply 4 of 348
    shadashshadash Posts: 470member
    What laws are you referring to? Apple isn't a monopoly and isn't anywhere close to controlling the smart phone space. Even with the iPhone 4 out, Android is kicking butt (200,000 a day now). And surfing on the Incredible can suck compared to my old iPhone because of the crappy Flash ads that are displayed. Why do we want that on our phones?



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post


    Enforcing laws, you mean.



  • Reply 5 of 348
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post


    Enforcing laws, you mean.



    Which law?
  • Reply 6 of 348
    It's now been 3 full years since Apple took their anti-Flash stand. Flash is still not available on any platform (I don't think). I think it might soon be available on Android/Froyo. 3 years of bitching and the product still isn't ready. Wow. And yet they think they need to pressure the FTC.
  • Reply 7 of 348
    monstrositymonstrosity Posts: 2,227member
    Oh for god sake. Let them kill the vile technology in peace.
  • Reply 8 of 348
    The whole world's gone koo-koo bananas!
  • Reply 9 of 348
    ihxoihxo Posts: 562member
    just get it over with already.



    Might also want to investigate Apple's anti Silverlight, Java, Cobol, VBScript, C#, Pascal etc stance...
  • Reply 10 of 348
    dr millmossdr millmoss Posts: 5,403member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by shadash View Post


    What laws are you referring to? Apple isn't a monopoly and isn't anywhere close to controlling the smart phone space. Even with the iPhone 4 out, Android is kicking butt (200,000 a day now). And surfing on the Incredible can suck compared to my old iPhone because of the crappy Flash ads that are displayed. Why do we want that on our phones?



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post


    Which law?



    No laws at all. Obviously the FTC is just making it up as they go along.



    Sigh. You may have noticed that Intel just settled an antitrust claim with the FTC. And no, this does not require any finding that a company has a "monopoly" on anything. As even this brief article points out, an FTC investigation is not a conviction or even a set of charges. It is only an investigation. The vast majority of the time, they result in no further action or an agreement from the company to change practices which violate competition laws.
  • Reply 11 of 348
    asianbobasianbob Posts: 797member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by shadash View Post


    What laws are you referring to? Apple isn't a monopoly and isn't anywhere close to controlling the smart phone space. Even with the iPhone 4 out, Android is kicking butt (200,000 a day now). And surfing on the Incredible can suck compared to my old iPhone because of the crappy Flash ads that are displayed. Why do we want that on our phones?



    Slightly off topic, but still related.



    Did you turn the setting for Flash from "always run" to "on demand"? None of the Flash items show up on my browser (native and Dolphin HD) until I tap on them to allow them to run.
  • Reply 12 of 348
    rob55rob55 Posts: 1,255member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AsianBob View Post


    Slightly off topic, but still related.



    Did you turn the setting for Flash from "always run" to "on demand"? None of the Flash items show up on my browser (native and Dolphin HD) until I tap on them to allow them to run.



    Click to flash on an Android, great!
  • Reply 13 of 348
    paulmjohnsonpaulmjohnson Posts: 1,380member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post


    It's now been 3 full years since Apple took their anti-Flash stand. Flash is still not available on any platform (I don't think). I think it might soon be available on Android/Froyo. 3 years of bitching and the product still isn't ready. Wow. And yet they think they need to pressure the FTC.



    That's a good point.



    I'm interested to see if people who own an iPad have actually found the lack of Flash a problem?



    I've had my iPad for three months now, and can only think of one occasion where it has prevented me from achieving what I wanted to (trying to buy a framed print on art.com) and that wasn't exactly something that couldn't wait until I got home to get on the Mac.



    The more I use the iPad, the more I think this is just a total non-issue. If Flash is such a big part of the internet, I'm obviously looking at the wrong parts of the internet.
  • Reply 14 of 348
    dr millmossdr millmoss Posts: 5,403member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post


    I'm interested to see if people who own an iPad have actually found the lack of Flash a problem?



    Only very occasionally for me. Usually it's nothing more than a video posted to Facebook that I can't view, but nearly always don't really want to anyway. The FTC complaint isn't about the lack of Flash being problem for iPad owners, though. The complaint is an allegation that Apple's Flash ban is anticompetitive. The complaint seems bogus to me, and I'd be very surprised if the FTC didn't come to the same conclusion.
  • Reply 15 of 348
    ghostface147ghostface147 Posts: 1,629member
    Adobe just needs to produce a working iOS version of Flash. Someone at Adobe surely has an iPhone they play with. Develop it, prove that it works and show us. If they can prove it works reliably and doesn't drain the battery too easily, what will Apple say now?



    I know it will crash at times, but iOS isn't crashproof anyways. There will be battery drain, but that's to be expected. Just try to minimize it.
  • Reply 16 of 348
    ipilyaipilya Posts: 191member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ElmCityWeb View Post


    The whole world's gone koo-koo bananas!



    no.. that would just be America!
  • Reply 17 of 348
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,752member
    Hmmm.. Adobe still whining? I wonder if Darl McBride from SCO is running Adobe now? This has his stink about it.
  • Reply 18 of 348
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 2,028member
    It would be one thing if Apple was just prohibiting Flash, but is not the case. It was the media that turned this into a Flash vs. Apple fight.



    NO 3rd party run time engines can be installed. There is no Adobe AIR, no Microsoft Silverlight, no Firefox, or Opera
  • Reply 19 of 348
    dr millmossdr millmoss Posts: 5,403member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mjtomlin View Post


    It was the media that turned this into a Flash vs. Apple fight.



    Actually it was Adobe that did this, by filing a complaint with the FTC.
  • Reply 20 of 348
    How many people here honestly believe that the iPhone SDK, which destroyed Adobe's investment in making a Flash deployment option fully compatible with all previous versions of the SDK license, was posted two business days before Adobe's release of that product purely by coincidence, and not because of a willful desire to maximize the destructive impact on Adobe's bottom line?



    Tip for people who are awake: there's a bounty in the Valley for anyone who can turn up a copy of an internal memo asking the staff to sit on that release until that date. I hear it's not a small amount.
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