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Deep Dive: What issues do app developers face and how should app stores be regulated?

In a panel on app store regulations, experts shed light on the issues faced by developers and recommended possible solutions.

Key Takeaways Major concerns of app developers include high commissions, delay in payment, shadow banning, and anti-competitive practices like self-preferencing, sherlocking, gatekeeping, etc Apple and Google do not operate in a free market and think of fines as a cost of doing business There is a market failure because of rent-seeking behaviour, information asymmetry, and skewed incentives Current legislation is slow and not adequate, we need ex-ante regulations Frameworks like ONDC might not work for this market "These gatekeepers, they're at the top of the bottleneck and they control everything that happens, and they ignore normal market forces and effects," Mark Buse, Head of Global Government Relations & Policy, Match Group, said about Google and Apple at a panel discussion on app store regulations in India organised by the Alliance of Digital India Foundation (ADIF) and the Coalition for App Fairness (CAF). "They get to decide who wins and who loses in this marketplace and who even gets a chance to play," Hannah Ricketts, Deputy Director, CAF, added. Buse and Ricketts were joined by Dr Vikas Kathuria, Affiliated Research Fellow, Max Planck Institute for Innovation & Competition; Sijo Kuruvilla George, Executive Director, ADIF; and Jai Vipra, Senior Resident Fellow, Vidhi Center for Legal Policy. The panel was moderated by Rohit Kumar, Founding Partner, The Quantum Hub. Both Apple and Google are currently under investigation by the Competiton Commission of India (CCI) for their app store practices and as the regulator probes these companies, this panel discussion sheds light on what the issues…

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