Apple App Store

Apple responds to CMA investigation into Apple App Store

CMA has today published Apple’s 47-page response to the Interim Report

A year ago, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) launched an investigation into Apple’s App Store over concerns it has a dominant role that stifles competition and hurts consumers.

The CMA has today published Apple’s 47-page response to the Interim Report, which completely dismisses the conclusions of the report.

Apple says that the CMA has set the benefits of Apple’s ecosystem aside “without reasoned basis, either ignoring them entirely or dismissing them on the basis of nothing more than speculation.” Apple also alleges that the CMA’s report is based on “unsubstantiated allegations and hypothetical concerns” from its rivals.

Apple expressed intense concerns about potentially having to “redesign the ‌iPhone‌” to benefit this small, powerful group:

“Apple is deeply concerned that the IR is proposing solutions to hypothetical problems that will result in real-world market interventions that could force it to redesign the iPhone to benefit a handful of powerful developers.

The IR appears to assume that its proposed changes would be relatively simple. Yet many would require a complete re-architecting of a product that has existed for 15 years, has been constantly improved by Apple’s investment in IP and is valued and trusted by millions of consumers.”

Apple also shot down the CMA’s proposition to allow alternative app stores on the ‌iPhone‌ or sideloading for “downplaying the security risks” and failing to account for “the fact that users highly value that security, and that many choose Apple over Android on that basis.”

The company also addressed specific issues raised by the Interim Report, such as the company’s WebKit restriction on iOS and iPadOS, which bans any rival browser engines on the platform

The CMA is investigating Apple’s conduct in relation to the distribution of apps on iOS and iPadOS devices in the UK, in particular, the terms and conditions governing app developers’ access to Apple’s App Store.

The watchdog is considering whether Apple has a “dominant position” in app distribution for Apple devices in the U.K., and, if it does, whether the company “imposes unfair or anti-competitive terms on developers” that results in less choice or higher prices for consumers buying apps and extras.

Apple’s Full Response to Interim Report

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