Apple's lock-out of Adobe CS5 iPhone packager as part of the iPhone OS 4 SDK, thus preventing Adobe from locking developers into CS5, has has allegedly so angered the Flash-maker that they're rumored to have complained to the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission, triggering those talks about an inquiry.
Adobe says Apple is stifling competition by barring developers from using Adobe’s products to create applications for iPhones and iPads, said the people who spoke on condition of anonymity because they aren’t authorized to discuss the case.
Adobe, Apple, and the agencies that may or may not be looking into it all declined to comment. Since the smartphone market is thriving, and any developer upset with Apple can choose to develop for Android, webOS, BlackBerry, Nokia, Windows Phone (maybe), etc. -- which would ultimately hurt Apple if enough developers decide to do just that -- it's hard to see where government involvement has any place.
And no, you can't manufacture an artificial "mobile app" market and say Apple has a dominant position in that. Apple has a control on iPhone and iPad apps, that's it. All other platforms have their own apps completely outside of any Apple involvement or influence. That includes the aforementioned smartphone platforms, Nintendo's Gameboy and DS lines, Sony's PSP, Microsoft Windows running or UMPCs and portables (and OS X running on laptops for that matter, which are huge app markets), and -- wait for it -- the world wide web, which also runs on the iPhone completely outside of Apple's control.
I understand Adobe being angry -- they're business model requires developers use Flash to build cross-platform apps and native app development hurts them. I understand Flash developers being angry because if they choose to stay Flash-exclusive they lose easy access to the lucrative iPhone/iPad user base. But the case that that anger should translate into government at this point just doesn't seem makable.
Then again, this probably isn't about anything more than headlines right now anyway, is it?