When confronted with a report by the UK Competition Commission about the iPhone maker’s market power, Apple responded by claiming that the report was based on “unsubstantiated claims and hypothetical worries.”
U.K. competition and markets authority (CMA) produced an initial report saying that Apple and Google maintained a “vice-like hold” on the mobile sector, restricting competition. Apple responded to the CMA on February 7, 2022, with a lengthy and thorough statement that has now been released.
According to Apple, the CMA’s initial assessment threw out the company’s ecosystem advantages “without reasoned foundation, either disregarding them totally or rejecting them on the basis of little more than guesswork.”
There were “unsubstantiated charges and hypothetical concerns” brought by competitors such as Facebook, Spotify, Match, Epic Games, and Microsoft, according to the study. This was based on “self-serving objections.”
According to Apple’s statement, those firms are all attempting to “make fundamental modifications to the iPhone for their own commercial benefit.”
According to a statement released by the company, Apple is “very worried” about the new restrictions. Real-world ideas might push Apple to “redesign the iPhone to favour a few of prominent developers,” according to the report’s findings.
There seems to be an assumption that its suggested improvements are reasonably easy,” Apple stated. Apple’s product has been around for 15 years, has been consistently enhanced by Apple’s investment in IP, and is respected and trusted by millions of users, but many would need a total re-architecting.
While arguing that side-loading and other app markets would undermine the iPhone’s overall approach to security, Apple is once again taking aim at prospective laws that would allow for other app marketplaces. This “essentially removes the competitive gap between Apple and Android,” as many consumers pick Apple over Android for security or privacy concerns.
Customer happiness, performance, and ease of use are just a few advantages that Apple touted for its own ecosystem. Additionally, it bragged about its dedication to protecting user privacy and embracing new technologies, all while ignoring the Interim Report.
According to Apple, the IR results are “no more than assumptions” regarding how the environment of Apple “may” damage competition. Such ideas are inadequate to justify, much alone promote, a discussion of possibly dramatic treatments at this point.
It seems that Apple and Google satisfy the requirements for Strategic Market Status (SMS) under recommendations to make digital marketplaces more competitive. A new CMA division devoted to digital markets will be established if the proposed legislation is passed, and it will have the authority to make such an assignment.
SMS businesses would therefore be subject to legally enforceable norms of conduct aimed at avoiding future abuse of their dominating positions.
In order to fix the problem, the report suggests that Apple and Google should make it easier to switch devices without losing data, allow alternative ways to install apps and the use of “web apps,” provide more options for in-app purchases other than the App Store’s mechanism, and provide more default app options.
App Stores and Google Play are still under investigation by the CMA due to possible antitrust issues, and answers to their initial files are being accepted until February 7, 2022. By June of 2022, a final report should be available.