CCI probe on Apple App Store commission, billing policies nears end
The CCI had launched a probe into Apple's policies following allegations of high commission charged by the iPhone maker's App Store and the lack of third-party payment options.
Wednesday February 15, 2023,
2 min Read
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) is nearing the end of its probe against Apple's App Store and its billing policies. The competition regulator may ask the iPhone maker to make changes to its App Store billing and commission policies on the lines of its Google directive, as per an ET report.
In December 2021, the CCI launched a probe into Apple's policies following allegations by the not-for-profit Together We Fight Society about the steep commission charged by Apple and the lack of third-party payment options. Later, some other companies also filed similar cases, which were then clubbed for the ongoing investigation.
"The findings of the probe are very much in line with what the CCI said on the Google Play billing issue," a person familiar with the matter told ET.
“The only reason why the findings have not been revealed yet is the absence of a sitting chairperson for the CCI,” the person added. The CCI has been without a full-time chairperson since October 25, 2022.
The findings are yet to be presented to the CCI board. Ultimately, any action in the matter will be taken by the CCI board only.
On October 25, the CCI imposed a penalty of Rs 936.44 crore on Google for abusing its dominant position with respect to its Play Store policies. The regulator also issued a cease-and-desist order.
Through its ruling, the CCI directed the tech giant to change its billing process for Google Play Store and allow other app developers to use a third-party payment processor.
Apple may be reportedly subjected to a similar penalty. Moreover, the Centre is also mulling changes in the formula used for calculating penalties on companies in such cases.
Currently, the CCI imposes a penalty of up to 10% of a company's average turnover in the relevant market. Now, the penalty may be calculated as a percentage of the American company’s global turnover. Apple's global turnover was $39.4 billion as of October 2022.
In India, Google-owned Android currently dominates the market with a 95.1% share while Apple iOS has a 3.93% share.
Edited by Kanishk Singh