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Exclusive: A deep dive into the antitrust complaint against Apple in India

The complaint presents evidence on the key issues that India’s competition regulator looks for in an antitrust case.

"Apple has become a behemoth seeking to control the digital markets, block its competition and nip innovation in the bud," the antitrust complaint filed with the Competition Commission of India (CCI) against Apple reads. The complaint was filed in August 2021 by a non-profit called Together We Fight Society (TWFS) over Apple's App Store practices. The filing accuses Apple of abusing its dominant position in the apps market by forcing developers to use its in-app purchase system. There are three steps that CCI takes when adjudicating an antitrust case: 1) establishing the relevant market, 2) ascertaining market dominance, and 3) if it is able to establish market dominance, it then determines whether there has been an abuse of this dominance. TWFS presents supporting evidence for these three in its filing, a copy of which MediaNama has seen. Establishing relevant markets The market for non-licensable smart mobile device operating systems in India: This market includes smartphone operating systems that cannot be licensed by third-party original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). Apple's iOS falls under this. It is different from the licensable smart mobile devices operating system market under which Android falls. This key distinction makes it easier for the complainant to establish market dominance. The market for app stores for Apple iOS in India: This market comprises all the channels through which developers distribute their apps to iOS device users. The market for apps facilitating payment through UPI: This refers to the market for apps that enable UPI payments, but the complainant does not provide any rationale as to why this…

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