India Starts Investigating the App Store’s Payment Rules


The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has reportedly started an investigation to determine whether or not Apple requiring iOS developers to use its payment system is anti-competitive.

CCI says “the Commission at this stage is convinced that a prima facie case is made out against Apple which merits investigation,” according to Reuters, which reports that CCI started to look into these policies following complaints from an organization called Together We Fight Society.

Together We Fight Society president CA Shivani told The Hindu BusinessLine in September that its complaint “highlighted the capricious, whimsical nature of the App Store policy that may lead to either suspension/ removal of the apps from App Store (without applying the same rules on Apple’s own vertical offering i.e., like Apple Maps, Apple Music etc.),” among other things.

But the organization was mostly concerned about the 30% cut Apple takes from many purchases—although the company takes a 15% cut from developers who meet certain requirements—as well as restrictions preventing developers from informing users of alternative payment methods.

Apple updated its App Store guidelines in October to allow developers to provide information about outside payments to their users. It has continued to push back against calls to give developers the ability to use third-party payment systems within iOS apps themselves, however.

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Those restrictions have attracted the attention of regulators in South Korea and the Netherlands as well as India. US District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers ordered Apple to allow third-party payments in iOS apps, too, but the company has successfully delayed that order’s enforcement.

Reuters says CCI “ordered its investigations unit to complete the investigation and submit a report within 60 days of the order,” which it issued on Dec. 31, 2021. That investigation will run parallel to an inquiry regarding Google’s restrictions on third-party payments in the Play Store.

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