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Adobe behind Apple antitrust complaints, sources say

updated 04:30 pm EDT, Tue May 4, 2010

Apple rules prevent use of compatible Adobe tools

An Adobe complaint is the main cause behind reported federal interest in antitrust charges against Apple, according to Bloomberg sources. Apple recently changed the rules for developers, forbidding the use of third-party tools in the creation of iPhone and iPad apps. In doing so, Adobe's complaint is said to suggest, Apple has actively interfered with companies' ability to compete.

Adobe only recently launched a Flash cross-compiler with iPhone support. While Flash is not allowed on the iPhone directly, developers can in theory use the compiler to convert Flash content not just for the iPhone, but also for other platforms such as Android phones. While Apple insists that the new rules are a matter of ensuring quality, the move may also force some developers to concentrate exclusively on Apple hardware or the rest of the market.

The sources add that it is still undecided whether the Federal Trade Commission or the Department of Justice will look into the allegations. Even if a probe is greenlit, it may not lead to a full investigation. Apple could also be ready to short-circuit any legal worries by altering the terms of the iPhone SDK.

Antitrust concerns are believed to secondly involve iAd, which could have an unfair advantage in targeting people for advertising. Most mobile advertisers are not allowed access to detailed iPhone analytics, whereas Apple could have this information by default. Some of these advertisers have filed their own complaints, sources say.

by MacNN Staff



  1. chefpastry

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Can we sue, too?

    Can we sue Adobe for trying to hold back the progress of the internet and open standards?

    Comment buried. Show
  1. lamewing

    Joined: Dec 1969


    A fair complaint

    It seems to me that Apple's restriction of 3rd party developmental software is crossing the line. The quality argument seems a rather weak attempt to keep contol of developers and hamstring competitors. Apple seems more and more like the MS of yesteryear.

  1. elroth

    Joined: Dec 1969



    That's a very tired argument, and has ot been shown to be true.

    Apple not only allows competitors like Netflix to submit apps, it even promotes them, as Steve Jobs did during his iPad demo ("This Netflix app is really cool."). They also encourage the Kindle app for iPhone, and many others from competitors.

    Why doesn't Sony let game developers take an XBox game and port it directly to the Playstation? Because the quality would not be good enough.

    And did you see how quickly Adobe changed the magazine app it was developing (for Wired magazine), from just recompiling it to actually using development tools specifically for Apple? Lazy a** Adobe can do better if it wants to. The problem is, it doesn't want to make the best apps, it wants to make apps the easiest way, quality be damned.

  1. sonola777

    Joined: Dec 1969



    get it into your thick skulls, Apple don't want Flash on their platform. Whaaaaaa, Apple won't play with me! Please, grow up.

  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Does anyone know how the PSP and Nintendo

    gaming platforms work as far as development goes? Doesn't Sony and Nintendo tell developers exactly what tools to use when developing for those platforms. I thought at one time you even had to purchase their emulating equipment or something to that effect. I'm very curious about that. I personally think that specifying exactly what tools to use would be the best way to ensure the most efficient software for that particular platform. I know nothing about coding so I'm in the dark on these topics.

    I honestly don't understand how Adobe can dictate to Apple what development tools to use on its own platform and if Apple doesn't want to use Flash what difference should it make to Adobe. Apple is just one company out of a dozen or so companies that still prefer to use Flash. It doesn't seem like much of a threat to Adobe at all. Apple never made some statement saying "No company or platform should support Flash henceforward as we deem it unfit for anyone's use." Apple just said they don't want to use Flash because it wasn't up to THEIR standards. That's not the same thing, is it? Or is there some implication that Flash really does suck for everyone? If Flash is that important to the internet then Adobe should just say to Apple "OK, don't use it." and go on about its business.

  1. garmonbosia

    Joined: Dec 1969


    how 'bout this

    I think Apple could sidestep this whole issue by saying to developers use whatever tools you want, but instead only hand out a native certification to Apps that fully comply with Apple standards. Then the consumer has the choice of buy a ported App as opposed to one that says "iPhone Native" or "iPad Native".

  1. Feathers

    Joined: Dec 1969



    If you want to adjust the brake calipers on a BMW, you have to buy a specific tool from BMW to do it. Same thing. I don't see 3rd party tool manufacturers complaining.

  1. russellb

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Boo Hoo

    Boo Hoo cry cry ... teacher teacher, Yes Adobe, the other kids wont play with me it's not fair ... Well Adobe , you are not in kindergarten any more and if you had done your homework and were getting better grades for your work the other kids might play with you...

  1. russellb

    Joined: Dec 1969



    When you go to Uni you get told exactly what books you need for the course .. can you go get a similar book, NO Does that mean the Uni is anti competitive against the other similar books NO .. thats the book you need to get the job done as best you possibly can...

    Go home Adobe and stop being a big cry baby .. do your job and come up with the goods. I watched an interview with their CEO and it was disgusting , the guy is in complete denial and refuses to own up to their short comings

  1. mtnrunner2

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Ya think?

    Sorry Adobe, but "competition" is exactly what Apple *IS* engaging in, by not taking orders from you, you crybabies.

    Now the FTC is using its excessive power to do what you could not convince them to do on your own.

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