US government rumoured to be considering an antitrust case against Apple

Adobe may have the last laugh

US government rumoured to be considering an antitrust case against Apple
Apple's decision to alter its developer agreement to lock out certain development tools may be called into question in the coming months.

The New York Post  is reporting various US watchdogs are considering which of them can trigger an antitrust inquiry into the firm.

The new agreement – which Adobe attests has been designed to block Flash development on iPhone and iPad – essentially ties studios to working with Apple-approved tools.


The paper quotes "a person familiar with the matter" as claiming the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission are looking into the situation.

Competition clause

The argument is by restricting developers to Apple approved tools, studios will be pushed into prioritising iPhone and iPad, possibly even excluding other formats altogether.

This could put rivals such as RIM, Google and even Microsoft at an unfair disadvantage.

Any inquiry isn't an investigation however, although it may lead to one.

As such, even the mention of interest by the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission is raising eyebrows. Apple has long-pitched itself as the antithesis of the large corporate giants that dominate American business.

Strengthening the defences

Apple, of course, is no longer a minnow, but one of the most successful firms on the planet - the third largest in the US in terms of its market capitalisation. 

Indeed, it's this very success that may have attracted the departments' attention in the first place.

By outperforming its rivals, any moves by Apple to consolidate its position are potentially viewed as being overly aggressive in tone, much as happened with Microsoft and the browser wars. 

However, Apple will argue the new developer agreement has been put in place to ensure the quality of software on the App Store. The company is also able to point to RIM's current market leading share in the US in its defence.

[source: New York Post]

With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font.