Apple could face government watchdogs

Steve Jobs probably isn’t a very happy camper right around now. Word is that the Department of Justice (DoJ) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) are negotiating with each other about which one of them is going to start an antitrust investigation into Apple’s iPad and iPhone applications policy.

Most of remember the uproar over Apple keeping Adobe’s Flash off of the iPad and iPhone as well as forcing developers to make their applications usable only on the iPad and iPhone rather than platform agnostic. Well it seems that the two government agencies involved think that this is anti-competitive and that Apple may have overstepped.

However just because the DoJ and the FTC are trying to figure out who will take the lead in any possible investigation it doesn’t mean that anything will happen beyond the initial inquiry.

An inquiry doesn’t necessarily mean action will be taken against Apple, which argues the rule is in place to ensure the quality of the apps it sells to customers. Typically, regulators initiate inquiries to determine whether a full-fledged investigation ought to be launched. If the inquiry escalates to an investigation, the agency handling the matter would issue Apple a subpoena seeking information about the policy.

Officials at both the Justice Department and FTC declined comment. Apple did not return calls seeking comment.

The threat of Apple being the subject of an investigation would be a remarkable turnabout for a company that has long seen itself as being outside the establishment, and one that has egged on antitrust officials to blunt the momentum of larger rivals.

Source:New York Post

It’s rather interesting to see the shoe on the other foot as Apple has for the most part flown under the radar in these types of things.