App Store and Google Play Store under scrutiny in Australia

App Store on iPad
App Store on iPad (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Australia is launching a probe into the mobile app market.
  • It wants to see whether the market needs more pricing transparency.
  • It will also examine the extent of competition between Apple and Google.

The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission has today announced a probe into the mobile app market in the country which will encompass both the App Store and Google Play Store for Android.

In an announcement today the ACCC stated:

The ACCC will be examining the experiences of Australian consumers, developers, suppliers and others in a new report scrutinising mobile app stores.Issues to be examined include the use and sharing of data by apps, the extent of competition between Google and Apple's app stores, and whether more pricing transparency is needed in Australia's mobile apps market.

The ACCC is inviting consumers to take part in a short survey, and will also speak to app developers and suppliers. It's part of a five-year inquiry into the markets "for the supply of digital platform services in Australia."

The report notes that whilst there are various app stores and marketplaces, "app sales are dominated by the Apple App Store, for iOS, and the Google Play Store, for Android devices." The commission noted that gaining access to one of the major app stores could result in significant sales and that not gaining access could be seen as a major setback.

It wants to provide greater transparency on how this process works, as well as establishing how the data available to Apple and Google as a result of their control is used.

The final report on the matter will be delivered in March of 2021.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9