EU Ends Apple Flash Antitrust Investigation


Apple has settled claims with state regulators who allege the company mishandled electronic waste.
Apple has settled claims with state regulators who allege the company mishandled electronic waste.
Photo: Thomas Dohmke

Although Adobe said Apple’s recent decision to relax rules on developers using Flash in IOS applications had little effect, the change was enough to get EU regulators to drop an antitrust investigation into the Cupertino, Calif. company’s practices. European Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia Saturday “welcomed” Apple’s change of heart.

Earlier in September, Apple announced it would permit developers to use third-party tools to create applications for the iOS platform. The restriction was seen as aimed at Adobe, which had released a tool permitting developers to use Flash in applications for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. As a result, Adobe restarted development of a Flash tool in Flash Professional aimed at the iPhone.

“Apple’s response to our preliminary investigations shows that the Commission can use the competition rules to achieve swift results on the market with clear benefits for consumers, without the need to open formal proceedings,” Almunia said.

The Cupertino, Calif. iPhone maker also responded to another EU complaint surrounding a “country of purchase” rule which allowed iPhone repairs only in the country where the handset was purchased. Apple how has Authorized Service Providers offering “cross-border iPhone warranty service” in instances where the company is unable itself to make repairs.

However, it was not all positive news for Apple on the antitrust front. A day before the EU dropped its investigations, the company agreed with the U.S. Justice Department to refrain from hiring employees away from competitors, such as Google, Intel, Adobe, Walt Disney’s Pixar and Intuit. The practice had “eliminated a significant form of competition,” according to the agency.

[AppleInsider, Bloomberg]

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