Apple Faces Antitrust Complaint by Developers in China

 
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Apple Faces Antitrust Complaint by Developers in China

Highlights

  • 28 local developers allege Apple breached antitrust regulations
  • The complaint accuses Apple of charging excessive fees and removing apps
  • Apple's China App Store is its most profitable store globally

A Chinese law firm has filed a complaint against Apple on behalf of 28 local developers alleging the firm breached antitrust regulations.

The complaint, lodged by Beijing-based Dare & Sure Law Firm, accuses Apple of charging excessive fees and removing apps from its local store without proper explanation, Lin Wei, an attorney at the firm told Reuters on Thursday.

"During its localisation process Apple has run into several antitrust issues ... after an initial investigation we consulted a number of enterprises and got a very strong response," said Lin.

The law firm invited developers to join the complaint in April and on Tuesday filed it to China's State Administration for Industry and Commerce and the National Development and Reform Commission, which oversees antitrust matters in the country.

An Apple spokeswoman told Reuters that guidelines for publishing apps on the App Store were consistent across all countries, and that it was in the process of expanding its local developer relations team.

The law firm did not provide details of the developers involved in the complaint.

Apple's China App Store is its most profitable store globally, despite being subject to strict censorship controls that have pressured the firm to recently remove dozens of apps.

© Thomson Reuters 2017

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