Australian watchdog to examine competition between Apple and Google app stores

(Reuters) – Australia’s competition regulator on Tuesday said it would look into the use of and sharing of data by apps and the extent of competition between Apple Inc’s (AAPL.O) and Google’s app stores.

It will also look at whether more pricing transparency is needed in Australia’s mobile apps market.

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is “interested in how data is used and shared in the app ecosystem, including the data available to Google and Apple as a result of their control of the major app stores,” Delia Rickard, the commission’s deputy chair, said in a statement.

The business practices of U.S tech giants have come under scrutiny globally but Australian regulators have been among the most aggressive in trying to rein in their reach. Australia is set to become the first country to make Facebook Inc (FB.O) and Alphabet Inc’s (GOOGL.O) Google pay for news sourced from local providers under a royalty-style system.

Google and Apple representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The commission’s planned consumer survey on app purchases and use is part of a five-year inquiry which will produce reports every six months examining markets for the supply of digital platform services in Australia.

A final report is expected in March 2021.


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