Anti-Trust Suit Looming?

By Phil Downing

Rumors are swirling that Apple is soon to be subject to an anti-trust lawsuit.  According to the New York Post, the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission are deciding which of government bodies will begin an official inquiry into the implications of Apple’s new operating system.

With a new set of iPhones and the iPad soon to be released in stores, so is a new operating system for Apple touch screens.   Why is that an issue with the government? The problem lies in section 3.3.1 of Apple’s iPhone 4.0 software developer kit license agreement.

3.3.1 — Applications may only use Documented APIs in the manner prescribed by Apple and must not use or call any private APIs. Applications must be originally written in Objective-C, C, C++, or JavaScript as executed by the iPhone OS WebKit engine, and only code written in C, C++, and Objective-C may compile and directly link against the Documented APIs (e.g., Applications that link to Documented APIs through an intermediary translation or compatibility layer or tool are prohibited).

The recent amendment to the section in question bans programmers from using cross-platform software to produce applications. By limiting iPhone and iPad apps to using Objective –C,C and C++, Apple blocks competing programs, such as Adobe Flash, from developing apps.

According to a lengthy letter written by Apple CEO Steve Jobs, Apple created the amendment to stop third-party companies from controlling the quality of Apple’s applications.

Adobe’s CTO Kevin Lynch disagrees. Lynch states, “The technology issue Apple has with us is not that our tech doesn’t work, it’s that it does work.” Lynch claims that Apple is trying to build a wall blocking other companies from competing in the app market.

While the dispute between Apple and other companies is sure to continue, one aspect of this issue is unique. Apple could be charged with an anti-trust lawsuit for monopolistic practices when they only account for 14 percent of the Smartphone market.

New York Post

a lengthy letter

Apple is trying to build a wall blocking other companies

14 percent

The problem

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