Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store under scrutiny in Australia

The ACCC, Australian Competition & Consumer Commission, announced a probe into the mobile apps market to examine ‘the experiences of Australian consumers, developers, suppliers and others’. 

The ACCC will examine the data usage and sharing of mobile apps, the extent of competition between Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store, and the pricing transparency in the mobile apps market in Australia. 

“Apps have become essential tools for daily living for many Australian consumers, a trend that is likely to have increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. Apps are, in turn, increasingly important for businesses as they promote, grow and run their enterprises,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.

“We want to know more about the market for mobile apps in Australia, including how transparent and effective the market is, for consumers as well as those operating in the market. We will also focus on the extent of competition between the major online app stores, and how they compete for app sales with other app providers.”

Another point highlighted in the issues paper is in-app purchases where Google and Apple collects 15% to 30% as a commission. It referred to the fight between Epic Games and Apple and Google.  A couple of weeks ago, Apple officially terminated Epic Games’ App Store account, following a legal battle with the game studio over violating App Store guidelines after the developer started using its own direct payment system. After the termination, Epic asked the court to stop ‘’Apple’s retaliation’’ and bring Fortnite back to the App Store. And last week, Apple filed a countersuit against Fortnite-creator Epic Games over violating its contract and avoiding paying millions in fees.

Written by Jordan Bevan

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