The New York Post and Reuters is reporting that Apple may face federal antitrust inquires regarding a change the company made in their iPhone developer agreement last month that hampers developers from using so-called cross-compilers to build their iPhone software. This move prevents developers from utilizing Adobe’s new Packager for iPhone found in Flash CS5. […]
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Apple Possibly Facing Antitrust Suit in Wake of Flash-to-iPhone Compiler Ban?

The New York Post and Reuters is reporting that Apple may face federal antitrust inquires regarding a change the company made in their iPhone developer agreement last month that hampers developers from using so-called cross-compilers to build their iPhone software. This move prevents developers from utilizing Adobe’s new Packager for iPhone found in Flash CS5. In layman’s terms, Flash apps can no longer be ported to the iPhone, but instead must be written in Objective-C or other Apple approved languages.

According to a person familiar with the matter, 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.

Regulators, this person said, are days away from making a decision about which agency will launch the inquiry. It will focus on whether the policy, which took effect last month, 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.

This announcement comes just days after Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ published his open letter entitled “Thoughts on Flash,” which outlined why Apple has not offered Flash support on their iPhone OS powered devices.

The reason given for banning the Flash-to-iPhone compiler, steams from the fact that allowing a middle layer of software between the device and the developers, can lead to a slower uptake of new technologies.

I suspect this won’t go very far. It is Apple’s platform after all, and they have the right to control it.

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