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French iOS App Store investigation concerned about platform lock-in

updated 03:53 pm EDT, Mon July 1, 2013

Google, Amazon app stores also under scrutiny

The French government's investigation of the iOS App Store is part of a broader probe into customers' inability to easily switch platforms, a spokesperson says. L'autorité de la concurrence -- France's competition regulation agency -- is targeting not just the App Store, but also other storefronts like Google Play and the Amazon Appstore.

The French government makes no mention of a claim by newspaper Les Echos, which is that the investigation involves Apple raising the minimum selling price for magazines and newspapers in 2012. The decision is said to have made it harder for smaller developers to compete, and angered organizations like the Groupement des Editeurs de Services en Ligne.

The spokesperson additionally confirms that Apple's French headquarters was raided last week. The raid took place at midnight, and authorities seized documents related to a dispute over the way the company treats resellers. A complaint filed by bankrupt reseller eBizcuss argues that Apple unfairly prioritizes stock at its own stores, making it hard for resellers to keep the latest products on sale.

by MacNN Staff



  1. jdonahoe

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 07-05-06

    Le boo hoo hoo!

  1. prl99

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: 03-24-09

    I buy a part for an Audi. Should I expect it to work on a Mercedes? Maybe if it's only a bolt, nut or oil filter but not if it's the dashboard. Why should applications purchased on the iOS App Store have to work on any other platform? The French need to take computing 101 and get a life.

  1. Jeronimo2000

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 08-20-01

    @prl99: A better comparison would be if Audi forced you to get your gas only at Audi gas stations, whereas Mercedes drivers would need their own special pumps with their own special fuel.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm just as amused as the next guy by the French's intention to change the world of consumer electronics after their own liking. But that comparison you made wasn't the most... fitting.

  1. prl99

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: 03-24-09

    @jeronimo: I don't see iOS apps as being usable without recoding/recompiling for different platforms. Gas is gas and can be used in any car that uses "real" gas (not the weird blends). Your comparison just deals with the delivery method while mine deals with the lack of interoperability between platforms. Programmers might say their applications can run on multiple platforms but why should Apple be forced to allow applications written for iOS to run on other platforms? That's the only way they would satisfy the French government's demand for switching platforms.

  1. Flying Meat

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: 01-25-07

    Might as well claim it is France that is at fault, for not opening a national mobile applications store, demanding anything that is submitted be usable on every platform, mobile or otherwise (coffee machines and dishwashers too!). The French governments lack of action in this regard is clearly harming the French! :P

  1. TomMcIn

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 12-21-01

    Got to be careful in Canada or the Quebec government will be picking up France's arguments and getting Federal money to enforce such unrealistic regulations in Quebec.

  1. cartoonspin

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 09-23-03

    Has France invented anything in the last 20 years except investigations?

  1. pairof9s

    Senior User

    Joined: 01-03-08

    Where as I don't totally agree with the French approach here, I do find it b@llsh*t that developers/platforms don't offer at least discounts when changing OS devices. I know this has been going on in the desktop environment where you get some discount to "upgrade" to a different OS version of the same software.

    Being devil's advocate, the main impediment I see is how to "turn off" the version on the previous OS once you upgrade to your new OS device. Then again, nothing stops me from putting the same OS app on 4 or 5 devices via iTunes under my account name, like my kids/wife's phones.

  1. b9bot

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 12-22-08

    The whole French government needs to take classes on computing and business. The IOS App store is for people that use iPod Touch, iPad, and iPhone from Apple. It is a store focused on Apple products only for a reason. They don't work on Android or anything else and to force Apple to do so is impossible and won't happen. Not realistic for many reasons, the biggest one is that Apple's business is focused on Apple products, not someone else's. Like the other comparisons, you don't buy Audi parts at 7/11 and you don't buy Slurpee's at your Audi parts store. It's not realistic in anyway.

  1. coffeetime

    Senior User

    Joined: 11-15-06

    EXE runs on Windows desktop only. And APP runs on Mac OS desktop only. Is it so hard to grasp for the past decades? It's the same comparison on mobile devices.

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