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EU Commission calls off investigation into Apple

The European Commission is calling off the investigation into Apple's ban on cross-compilers after Apple reversed the policy. The EU also claims that the policy change was a direct result of their investigation.

"Apple's response to our preliminary investigations shows that the Commission can use the competition rules to achieve swift results on the market with clear benefits for consumers, without the need to open formal proceedings," Almunia said.

While the FTC/EU investigation is certainly one of the leading theories behind Apple's new App Store policies and guidelines, others have suggested increased competition from Google's Android, and a desire to have games in the App Store based on engines like Unity and Unreal.

So which theory is correct? Or was it a combination of factors that made Apple change their minds?

[Electronista, Engadget]

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  • Perhaps a combination of both. Apple doesn't seem shakey enough to cowardly change policies over an investigation, but it could have been in the interest of time, possibly reputation. I'd say compitition definitely played a part in it. Developers don't like being limited which is causing them to go to other platforms. I can't tell you how many programmers I've talk to who don't want to work with iOS because theyre afraid something small will cause them to be rejected. Will the policy tweaks change their minds? Probably not, but it looks like apple is trying.
  • Agree, probably some of both.
  • Google gaining ground fast with their android platform makes the most sense. They loosened their restrictions to sell more devices and avoid a negative reputation. The biggest example of this is allowing gv mobile for google voice after denying it for so long. This feature is integrated into all android phones and apple didn't want to lack a feature to android.
  • I'm not sure that I understand exactly why Apple made the policy in the first place. But it's pretty clear that Apple understood that by reversing this policy, they would no longer be subject to investigation by the EC. There's was undoubtedly some very clear communication between Apple and the EC as to why the EC was engaging in the investigation and what Apple needed to do to avoid that investigation. So I would tend to agree that Apple's policy reversal was in direct response to that communication with the EC.
  • Great - now where's my skyfire ?
  • It was definitely both. They might have been able to push back the investigation if they didn't allow any cross-compilers at all. But when they started their push toward the game cross-compilers, that pretty much shot up any chance of them not being in trouble from the investigation.