∞ Apple antitrust probe started after complaint by Adobe

The antitrust probe into Apple’s business practices in the U.S. started after Adobe complained to the government, according to reports published on Tuesday. Citing people familiar with the matter, Bloomberg says the complaint accuses Apple of stifling competition by not letting developers make apps using Flash CS5.

Apple changed its iPhone Developer Agreement, requiring all developers to use its tools to build apps for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. One of the hardest hit by the change in policy was Adobe.

With the release of CS5 Adobe planned to allow developers to export Flash projects as apps for use with Apple’s mobile devices. However, with the policy change, that is no longer a possibility.

Adobe said in late April that while the feature would still be part of the CS5 release, it would abandon the technology in future releases.

“While it appears that Apple may selectively enforce the terms, it is our belief that Apple will enforce those terms as they apply to content created with Flash CS5,” said Adobe’s Mike Chambers. “Developers should be prepared for Apple to remove existing content and applications (100+ on the store today) created with Flash CS5 from the iTunes store.”

Apple CEO Steve Jobs wrote an open letter about Apple’s decision to adopt HTML5 and CSS instead of using Flash on its mobile devices. Jobs called Flash an artifact of the PC era and said it falls short in the new mobile era.

“Perhaps Adobe should focus more on creating great HTML5 tools for the future, and less on criticizing Apple for leaving the past behind,” said Jobs.

News of an Apple antitrust probe was first reported on Monday, as the FTC and DoJ began discussions on who will handle the investigation.



  • rob t

    Going to say it, people that are asking for laws to enforce our tech needs are missing the point. When a company "closes" its systems, as many would contend that Apple does, it is at their own peril. Just because it is "closed" though, doesn't mean you cannot search the web, can't look up your favorite teams score, can't see when a new mp3 is coming out…all that it means is that some visitors aren't welcome and thank you to Apple for keeping Flash away. If you haven't tried (admittedly in the past) Flash Lite, you don't know how worthless something can be…I have used Flash Lite on a Nokia or two and never got what I wanted…as a matter of fact, I never got the web browsing experience I wanted until the APPLE IPHONE!!! came out. (See, the all caps and exclamation points were for emphasis). You don't legislate the tech world, you let the market do it for you. If Apple was selling only 500k iPhones per quarter and it had that "start-up" feel to it three years later, don't you think Apple would be working as hard as it could to have Adobe create a version of Flash that worked well on it? Of course they would…how long before Google's Android OS turns it's back on Flash? These OS's are getting the the adoption rate (if the press is even close to correct) they'd want, why open up the world of: intense crashes, porn galore (for your teen, not the 35 year old business dude) the pop-up adds…why move back to 2002 if you can stay in 2010?

    I'm writing my Indiana senator's today, stay the hell away from what you really don't know…it isn't a race issue, not Arizona immigration issue, not a bomb scare in Times Square, it's the ability to visit xxx.com and watch a streaming video and if you can't figure that one out, you are a dumb as I thought you were!

    RT

  • It's sad to see a company that had no problem conveniently killing off multiple apps for Apple systems pleading to the government to make Apple play nice now.

    I imagine it's a bit like someone's ex winning the lottery. It's good to be the ex.

  • rob t

    Going to say it, people that are asking for laws to enforce our tech needs are missing the point. When a company "closes" its systems, as many would contend that Apple does, it is at their own peril. Just because it is "closed" though, doesn't mean you cannot search the web, can't look up your favorite teams score, can't see when a new mp3 is coming out…all that it means is that some visitors aren't welcome and thank you to Apple for keeping Flash away. If you haven't tried (admittedly in the past) Flash Lite, you don't know how worthless something can be…I have used Flash Lite on a Nokia or two and never got what I wanted…as a matter of fact, I never got the web browsing experience I wanted until the APPLE IPHONE!!! came out. (See, the all caps and exclamation points were for emphasis). You don't legislate the tech world, you let the market do it for you. If Apple was selling only 500k iPhones per quarter and it had that "start-up" feel to it three years later, don't you think Apple would be working as hard as it could to have Adobe create a version of Flash that worked well on it? Of course they would…how long before Google's Android OS turns it's back on Flash? These OS's are getting the the adoption rate (if the press is even close to correct) they'd want, why open up the world of: intense crashes, porn galore (for your teen, not the 35 year old business dude) the pop-up adds…why move back to 2002 if you can stay in 2010?

    I'm writing my Indiana senator's today, stay the hell away from what you really don't know…it isn't a race issue, not Arizona immigration issue, not a bomb scare in Times Square, it's the ability to visit xxx.com and watch a streaming video and if you can't figure that one out, you are a dumb as I thought you were!

    RT

  • All one needs to do to understand the new terms is to watch the iPhone OS 4.0 preview video. All the new features designed to let apps multitask, play nice with each other, not use too much battery life, etc. require them to be written to handle it. Apple only wants apps on the iPhone that are actually able to take advantage of the technology, not clunky crap that screws everything else up.

    • Ron

      Your statement is both plainly true and the reason why the flame war will continue to rage: one has to take a (minimal) effort to understand the issues. Sooo much easier for partisans to begin angrily spouting off without first burdening themselves with understanding. </soapbox>

  • I'm a big Adobe CS fan and I purchase their upgrades pretty regularly but I hope Apple wins this fight and Adobe looses.