It looks like the European Union is joining the Federal Trade Commission in investigating if Apple’s exclusion of Adobe Flash technology on its iOS products unlawfully harms competition.
The governmental agencies are looking into the issue because Adobe complained that the lack of Flash on the devices’ web browsers and Apple banning it as a development tool would hurt Adobe’s business. While Flash is (very) slowly making its way onto every major smartphone platform, the Apple iPhone and iPad users are highly-coveted by advertisers and publishers.
Looking at it from Apple’s perspective, the company still believes that Flash is an outdated technology that draws too many resources to be practical on a mobile device. Additionally, the company is nowhere near a monopoly, so it has every right to dictate how and what can get on its platform – there are plenty of great Apple iPhone alternatives nowadays.
In the end, I don’t think the FTC will do anything about the lack of Flash on the Apple iOS products because there’s no real legal case – in regards to U.S. law – to be made with the plethora of other options out there. The EU is a different beast altogether though, as it has successfully made Microsoft decouple Internet Explorer from Windows, so there’s a chance something may happen.
We’ve already seen the European Commission implement a technology directive which may force Apple to adopt Adobe Flash but I don’t know how well a poorly-supported, forced Flash experience would be.
As I’ve said before, I believe Adobe’s best bet is making Flash a stellar experience on every other single mobile platform in order to condition users and developers to have a full web experience on the go. Once that happens, the Apple iOS devices will look woefully out of date and could be forced to cave on the issue.
[Via The New York Post]