Japan’s Fair Trade Commission is analyzing whether Apple might have improperly pressured Yahoo Japan to shut down a game streaming platform that competed with the iOS App Store, says Nikkei.
Apple might have pressured Yahoo Japan
Yahoo Japan’s Game Plus service allowed people to stream full games that are made for other platforms and also to play HTML5 games on mobile phones which would have allowed iPhone owners to get games without going via the App Store.
Latest reports also claim that Yahoo Japan managed to slash the program’s budget last fall, just a few months after it was launched and told the partners that it was due to pressure coming from Apple.
It was said to have begun filing complaints with Japan’s FTC around the same time.
Developers don’t really have an alternative to the App Store on iOS.
The only option that they have is the web which is a great place for websites, but the Internet is not as fast as a native application.
There are various features that only native apps can take advantage of which requires going via the App Store and giving Apple a 30% cut in most sales.
The Verge reported that “Japan’s service was meant, in part, to be an alternative to that, offering better terms to developers, according to Nikkei, and fewer restrictions around how games were updated and sold. Final Fantasy creator Square Enix had even signed on and produced an exclusive game for the platform, which has since been pulled.”
It’s pretty hard to imagine that a web platform that steals so much attention away from the App Store any alternative that works good enough would be a threat.
This is really important because Apple focuses more on revenue coming from the services division.
Apple just got out from another investigation
An example of what might happen, says The Verge, is that Google is expected to love about $50 million in the next 5minths because Epic Games was able to skirt the Play Store when launching Fortnite on Android.
Apple just managed to get out of another investigation coming from Japan’s FTC.
The commission stated that Apple might have violated some antitrust rules by forcing a specific payment scheme on service provides selling their iPhone, but the company was not punished back then because it agreed to make some changes