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Apple Facing Antitrust Investigations [Update: Confirmed]

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Steve Job's Thoughts on Flash open letter has already sparked furious debate, but could it also soon spark government legal action...?

According to a story by the New York Post "the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission are locked in negotiations over which of the watchdogs will begin an antitrust inquiry into Apple's new policy of requiring software developers who devise applications for devices such as the iPhone and iPad to use only Apple's programming tools."

The focus? Whether Apple's policy "kills competition by forcing programmers to choose between developing apps that can run only on Apple gizmos or come up with apps that are platform neutral, and can be used on a variety of operating systems, such as those from rivals Google, Microsoft and Research In Motion."

The NYP says both the Justice Department and FTC declined comment, while Apple has not returned its calls.

While I've some scepticism about this story (the NYP is something of a tabloid) it certainly isn't beyond the realms of possibility and could well open up a can of worms for the company which also continues other business practices which Microsoft has long been censured for such as bundling a browser and media player with its OS. Any ARM bid would also surely raise alarm bells and if action does take place in the US it could also trigger moves from the ever legal-happy EU.

Watch this space...

Update: Reuters, Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal are all confirming preliminary antitrust investigations have begun against Apple. This could now get very interesting indeed.

Link:
Via the New York Post

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