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It has been revealed that Apple has been sued in court for refusing to publish other companies’ apps on the App Store to monopolize the new Corona contact notification app market.

According to a complaint filed in the US District Court for the State of New Hampshire, the proceeding was filed over an app called “Coronavirus Reporter” that was denied publication on the App Store in March 2020. Is claimed to have been developed in February of the same year by a team of healthcare and computer science experts to “capture and obtain important biostatistical and epidemiological data.”

The development of this app was completed on March 3rd. That time coincides with Apple’s announcement that it will limit the distribution of new Corona-related apps.

Prior to that, it was reported that Apple was cracking down on new corona-related apps other than public institutions from the beginning of the same month, but later it was a “socially recognized organization”, that is, a government organization and a private organization specializing in health. , It is officially announced that App Store registration other than qualified and proven companies regarding health problems is not allowed. On the other hand, it is also promised that the related apps of the target organization will be reviewed quickly.

As a result of those criteria being applied to this “Coronavirus Reporter” app, Apple has not been backed by a recognized healthcare company and “user-generated data has not been validated by reputable sources. For that reason, it was rejected about 20 days after the application.

In addition, the complaint states that Apple allowed another app with similar functionality in the App Store about a month later. And there is also a problem with the contact notification framework developed in collaboration with Apple and Google, which is described as “generally a failure”.

Plaintiffs allege that Apple has blocked the Coronavirus Reporter to maintain its monopoly on the contact notification app. Apple further states that “arbitrarily deciding which applications will or will not be published has a substantial anti-competitive effect.”

And what’s required is more than $ 75,000 in damages and a permanent injunction that limits Apple’s ability to “restrict rational applications.” However, the qualification “socially recognized organization” that Apple is seeking from app developers should be able to be measured with an objective measure such as name recognition and credibility. It is unlikely that Apple has decided on arbitrary standards, but I would like to keep an eye on the proceedings.


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