App Store and Google Play Store under scrutiny in Australia

Google Play Store
Google Play Store (Image credit: Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Australia is launching a probe into the mobile app market.
  • It wants to see whether the market needs more pricing transparency.
  • It will also examine the extent of competition between Apple and Google.

The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission has today announced a probe into the mobile app market in the country which will encompass both the App Store and Google Play Store for Android.

In an announcement today the ACCC stated:

The ACCC will be examining the experiences of Australian consumers, developers, suppliers and others in a new report scrutinising mobile app stores.Issues to be examined include the use and sharing of data by apps, the extent of competition between Google and Apple's app stores, and whether more pricing transparency is needed in Australia's mobile apps market.

The ACCC is inviting consumers to take part in a short survey, and will also speak to app developers and suppliers. It's part of a five-year inquiry into the markets "for the supply of digital platform services in Australia."

The report notes that whilst there are various app stores and marketplaces, "app sales are dominated by the Apple App Store, for iOS, and the Google Play Store, for Android devices." The commission noted that gaining access to one of the major app stores could result in significant sales and that not gaining access could be seen as a major setback.

It wants to provide greater transparency on how this process works, as well as establishing how the data available to Apple and Google as a result of their control is used.

The final report on the matter will be delivered in March of 2021.

Stephen Warwick