Federal regulators apparently have taken note of the ongoing spat between Apple and Adobe, and the iPhone maker’s decision to prohibit developers from submitting apps originally created for Flash. The U.S. Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission are “days away” from deciding which agency will launch an antitrust probe into Apple’s developer agreement banning Flash from apps, according to the New York Post.
The probe “will focus on whether the policy, which took effect last month, kill competition by forcing programmers to choose between developing apps that can only run on Apple gizmos or come up with apps that are platform neutral, and can be on a variety of operating systems, such as those from rivals Google, Mikcrosoft and Research in Motion,” the report said, citing persons in the know.
The agreement includes a clause forbidding iPhone OS developers using “an intermediary translation or compatibility layer too,” essentially banning software originally written for Flash. Adobe’s just-released Creative Suite 5 allows developers to create versions of Flash apps for the iPhone.
Last week, in an essay entitled “Thoughts on Flash,” Apple CEO Steve Jobs blasted Adobe and its premiere software. The two companies had “grown apart” as Apple moved beyond the age of PCs into the mobile era. Besides, as more and more websites adopt the HTML5 standard “Flash is no longer necessary.” Perhaps most damning was Jobs’ statement that Flash was responsible for most Mac crashes.
Possibly in response to the Apple criticism, Adobe has gotten cozier with Google, maker of the iPhone rival handset platform Android. Adobe intends to give Android-based phones to company workers, according to one report. Those Android handsets will include Flash Player 10.1, a version of Adobe’s software designed for mobile devices.