EU joins FTC in investigation over Apple’s restrictive Flash policies

Tue, Aug 10, 2010

Legal, News

In yet another sign that the EU has too much time on its hands, the New York Post is reporting that the European governing body will be joining the FTC in their investigation into Apple’s decision to not support Flash on the iPhone. The investigation could reportedly last up to another 4 to 6 months.

At the root of the investigation is whether or not Apple’s practice “harms competition.” Hmm, the growing popularity of Android would seem to suggest otherwise.

AppleInsider provides some contextual background for the investigation:

The FTC will never publicly confirm its investigations, except when it decides to sue or reaches a settlement with a company. But the commission’s decision not to release 189 pages related to Adobe’s complaint against Apple strongly suggest that such an investigation is ongoing. If true, the information from the Post’s source would not only confirm the investigation, but also indicate that it is expanding overseas…

Adobe filed its complaint with the FTC after Apple announced it would not allow iOS applications ported from other languages or development environments, such as Flash. Adobe had created an application that would allow developers to port software written to Flash to the iPhone circumventing Apple’s ban of Adobe Flash from iOS devices, including the iPhone and iPad.

But Apple changed its developer agreement, banning applications written in non-native languages and ported to the iPhone. That prompted Adobe to abandon development of its Flash-to-iPhone porting software, and file a complaint with the FTC.

Summing things up quite nicely, former Apple executive Jean-Louis Gassée opined on Apple’s opposition to cross platform development tools a few months ago.

Who, in his right mind, expects Steve Jobs to let Adobe (and other) cross-platform application development tools control his (I mean the iPhone OS) future? Cross-platform tools dangle the old “write once, run everywhere” promise. But, by being cross-platform, they don’t use, they erase “uncommon” features. To Apple, this is anathema as it wants apps developers to use, to promote its differentiation. It’s that simple. Losing differentiation is death by low margins. It’s that simple. It’s business. Apple is right to keep control of its platform’s future.


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1 Comments For This Post

  1. Ken Says:

    There is an investigation because there was a complaint. The fact that there is an investigation does not mean the complaint has merit or that the complainant will prevail.

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