US regulators aim antitrust inquiry at Apple, says report

The Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission are considering an antitrust investigation into the iPhone SDK, according to a newspaper report

US regulators are reportedly investigating Apple's requirement that software developers only use its — or neutral — programming tools.

The New York Post reports that the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission are pondering an antitrust inquiry into Apple's Section 3.3.1 in its iPhone 4.0 software developer kit licence agreement.

Here is the section, which is largely viewed as effectively banning Adobe Flash development:

"3.3.1 — Applications may only use Documented APIs in the manner prescribed by Apple and must not use or call any private APIs. Applications must be originally written in Objective-C, C, C++, or JavaScript as executed by the iPhone OS WebKit engine, and only code written in C, C++, and Objective-C may compile and directly link against the Documented APIs (eg, Applications that link to Documented APIs through an intermediary translation or compatibility layer or tool are prohibited)."

Such inquiries are typically begun to find out whether an antitrust suit needs to be launched.

For more on this story, see Apple in antitrust crosshairs? If so, Jobs' Flash rant makes more sense on ZDNet.com.

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