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Is Apple Heading For Antitrust Troubles In Europe?

eu-apple.gifThe European Union’s new Digital Agenda is an initiative set up to facilitate access to technology within Europe.

As a result, Apple may face scrutiny on its policies on interoperability and the ban on third party development suites such as Adobe Flash.

The Digital Agenda has outlined 7 key obstacles that it has identified as major obstacles to improving the Union’s digital economy, with interoperability being number 2 on the list:

“Europe does not yet reap the maximum benefit from interoperability. Weaknesses in standard setting, public procurement and coordination between public authorities prevent digital services and devices used by Europeans from working together as well as they should. The Digital Agenda can only take off if its different parts and applications are interoperable and based on standards and open platforms.”

This could spell trouble for Apple’s decision to ban third party development suits such as Adobe Flash and could also lead to Apple being forced to allow developers to write apps without using Xcode or going through Apple’s approval process.

The Agenda also wants to change the standard it uses when looking at which companies may be unfairly influencing the market. The current criteria is companies that hold a “dominant” place in the sector, whereas the agenda is proposing that companies with a “significant” position could also be considered for abusing their position.

Their latest document stats that: “The Commission will examine the feasibility of measures that could lead significant market players to license interoperability information while at the same time promoting innovation and competition.”

According to EU Commissioner Neelie Kroes, “We need to make sure that significant market players cannot just choose to deny interoperability with their product.”

Neelie Kroes
European Commissioner
for Digital Agenda

13.07.2010    Tags: ,
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