ACCC Turns to Apple and Google App Stores | Narromine News
Apple and Google have too much power as gatekeepers over their popular app stores and it’s hurting consumers and app developers, according to the Australian competition watchdog.
The market power of the two tech giants in the popular world of smartphone apps is at the center of a new report released by the Australian Competition and Consumer Watchdog, as part of its five-year survey of platform services digital.
The report warns Apple and Google of the possibility of regulation if they do not choose to follow through on its recommendations to address the power imbalance.
Apple and Google both operate popular stores, which are the means most Australians use to download the apps they use for socializing, shopping, gaming, entertainment, and performing important tasks like banking.
IPhone users can only access apps through the Apple App Store, and the Google Play Store is the primary source of apps for Android phones.
“The Apple and Google stores are the gateways between consumers and application developers, and it is true that they offer considerable benefits to both groups. But there are significant problems with the functioning of this market,” he said. ACCC President Rod Sims said Wednesday.
Apple and Google manage the application markets, but also operate their own applications within them.
“They have the ability and the incentive to promote their own apps over others, and they control the terms that their competitors must meet to access their stores,” said Mr. Sims.
App developers should get more information about how their apps are made available to users, and Google and Apple should not be able to use data collected from their own apps, according to the company. ‘ACCC.
Consumers should have the power to change or remove preinstalled or default apps on their phones.
Mr Sims also draws attention to restrictions imposed by Apple and Google that force developers to use mega-corporations’ own payment systems for in-app purchases.
The watchdog calls on tech giants to do more to help consumers who are harmed by malicious apps that use scams or subscription traps.
Epic Games, the app operator in a multinational legal fight with Apple and Google over market power, welcomed the publication of the review, which, according to a spokesperson, “highlights the need for a competition in payments and fairer and more transparent policies on mobile platforms “.
A US court next week will begin hearing a lawsuit between Epic, owner of the game Fortnite, and Apple over Apple’s market power.
Epic has filed similar lawsuits in Australia against Google and Apple, although the Federal Court recently handed down a stay in the Apple case.
Mr. Sims encouraged Apple and Google to heed his recommendations.
“There is a window of opportunity for Apple and Google themselves to take action to improve outcomes for app developers and consumers by adopting the potential actions we have identified,” Mr. Sims said.
Otherwise, the report warns, government intervention may be necessary.
Apple said its App Store is home to nearly two million apps, “all of which meet Apple’s rigorous standards for privacy, security and content, providing our customers with a safe and reliable place to download apps. “.
“This unwavering commitment to providing our customers with the best experience is applied equally and consistently to everyone, including Apple’s own applications,” the company said.
“We are pleased to be able to continue this discussion with ACCC.”
Australian Associated Press