Apple vigorously defended its ecosystem in a presentation to Australia’s competition watchdog, amid growing global scrutiny of the power of big tech companies and “surveillance”.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has scrutinized Apple’s ecosystem in a series of investigations since last year and has encouraged the company to give users more control over pre-installed apps and services. In a detailed response to the ACCC’s Digital Platform Services Inquiry Discussion Paper, Apple argued that the proposed changes to its ecosystem would “reduce incentives for dynamic companies like Apple to innovate and develop new and differentiated products” and expose users to a “less secure and private environment.”
Apple is puzzled that the Consumer and Competition Agency will prioritize alleged competition concerns that lack convincing evidence of harm, over the obvious and serious harm that users suffer every day. This is not what consumers want to see as results of legislative reform – they want stronger, not weaker, protection from illegal behavior that affects hundreds of thousands of Australians each year whose information is stolen, deceived, trafficked and used to their harm. .
Apple has highlighted confidential data it has provided to the ACCC that shows there is a “purposeful, consistent, and upward-oriented desire for users to switch between devices and platforms, and an ongoing ability for them to do so.” The company also argued that it competes with “other software distribution platforms to attract developers to the App Store,” citing web apps as an example of an “alternative means for developers to distribute apps to iOS users.”
Australia is among several countries now scrutinizing the Apple ecosystem and threatening pervasive legislation in an attempt to force changes, including the US, UK, Japan, South Korea, the European Union and more, with an appetite from global regulators to explore requirements around App Store policies. application loading, and interoperability.
See Apple’s full response to the ACCC for more information.
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