Australia threatens Apple with regulation over App Store, default apps

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Apple Store logo (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Apple and Google are being threatened with antitrust regulation in Australia.
  • New findings from the ACCC say app developers should be allowed to offer alternative methods of payment.
  • It also says users should have more options over pre-installed and default apps.

A new report from Australian competition authorities has warned Apple it could face regulation over antitrust issues if it doesn't take action to alleviate concerns around its App Store.

From Reuters:

Australia's competition watchdog said on Wednesday regulation may be required to address the significant market power app stores owned by Alphabet's Google and Apple have if they do not take steps to assuage concerns.The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), in a digital platforms services inquiry interim report, said app developers should be allowed to provide customers with alternative payment options, and data collected by Google and Apple should be kept separate from their other operations.

The report also says that consumers should be allowed to change or remove pre-installed or default apps. The group's Chair Rod Sims said "We have identified a number of areas where action is required and have put forward potential measures to address areas of particular concern... There is a window of opportunity for Apple and Google themselves to take steps to improve outcomes for app developers and consumers."

The news comes on the eve of Apple's antitrust trial with Epic Games over the very issue of alternative payment methods available to developers, or lack thereof in Apple's current App Store ecosystem. The ACCC says it will look at changes of laws in other countries, so will likely be keeping a close eye on the trial. As noted it left the door open for Apple and Google to make the first move, but said regulation could be required if they don't take the leap.

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