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App makers get caught up in Apple antitrust probe

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on February 4, 2020 - Duration: 01:36s

App makers get caught up in Apple antitrust probe

The U.S. Justice Department has reached out to app developers as part of the government's investigation into alledged anti-competitive behavior at Apple, Reuters has learned exclusively.

Conway G.

Gittens has the details.

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App makers get caught up in Apple antitrust probe

The U.S. Justice Department has held talks with app developers as part of its anti-competitive probe of Apple, Reuters reports exclusively on Tuesday.

The CEO of Mobicip, an app with nearly a million global users that allows parents to control what kids can access on an iPhone, told Reuters he was interviewed by a U.S. investigator in November.

And he's not alone.

A handful of app developers have been contacted by the DOJ, a source familiar with the probe revealed.

This provides a clue of which direction the investigation is going.

When it comes to claims of anti-competitive behavior at Apple: Mobicip says it was kicked out of the Apple store about six months after Apple introduced its Screen Time app, six months later when it was reinstated, demand for the Mobicip app had been cut in half.

Executives at six other parental control apps told Reuters a similar story, their apps were working fine in the Apple app store, until Apple launched its own version of parental control.

Apple didn't want to comment but pointed Reuters to statement on its website that says the app store was designed to hold apps "to a high standard for privacy, security and content." Apple is one of four big tech companies currently under scrutiny by America's top prosecutor for allegedly engaging in anti-competitive behavior.

Facebook, Alphabet's Google and Amazon are also under the microscope.

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