Tech giant Apple Inc has urged the Competition Commission of India (CCI), country's anti-trust watchdog, to quash the case for alleged "abuse of market power in the apps market".
According to a Reuters report, the case has been filed by Jaipur-based non-profit Together We Fight Society (TWFS) alleging that Apple charges a fee from app developers for selling apps and in-app items through the App Store. The case further said that Apple hurts competition by forcing app developers to use its proprietary system which can charge commissions of up to 30 percent on in-app purchases. The TWFS added that this fee imposed on app developers violates India's competition rules.
In its response (dated November 16, 2021) to the CCI, Apple has said that it is "too small a player in the South Asian country where Google is dominant". Apple stressed that its market share in India is an "insignificant" 0-5 percent while Google commands 90-100 percent as its Android operating system powers most other smartphones. The response, sent by Apple's chief compliance officer Kyle Andeer, added that there can be no abuse of power without market dominance
Meanwhile, Apple also described the complaint filed by TWFS as a "proxy filing" in its CCI submission. The US tech giant, without furnishing any evidence, claimed that TWFS was "likely acting in concert with parties with whom Apple has ongoing commercial and contractual disputes globally and/or that have complained to other regulators".
Responding to the allegation, TWFS said Apple's remark was "made to prejudice the mind" of the CCI "without any iota of proof", according to Reuters.
Now, the CCI will decide whether to order a wider investigation or dismiss the case altogether.
Apple has been dealing with similar allegations in the United States, the European Union, and South Korea as well. As of 2020-end, Apple's iOS powered about 2 percent of 520 million smartphones in India, according to Counterpoint Research. However, Apple's smartphone base in India has more than doubled in the last five years.