Home Before iCloud is Revealed, Apple Sued by German Developers Claiming Antitrust

Before iCloud is Revealed, Apple Sued by German Developers Claiming Antitrust

When you are one of the biggest corporations in the world and it is your biggest day of the year, you are a lightning rod of attention, both good and bad.

The Web is buzzing about Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference. Of the topics to be discussed at the keynote, Apple’s newest product – iCloud – is drawing the most attention. In that vein, a German music-streaming startup called Simfy has filed a lawsuit against Apple for allegedly withholding approval of its iPad application because it is a potential competitor to the iCloud streaming service.

The Next Web was the first to report the Simfy suit. Simfy is claiming that Apple not approving the Simfy app is a violation of antitrust laws. Now, despite all the rumors and anticipation, Apple has not actually said exactly what iCloud is going to be. It could be a lot of things from digital storage to music streaming to an all-purpose personal cloud. We will know exactly what iCloud entails later today during the WWDC keynote.

Simfy offers an on-demand streaming service, much like European counterpart Spotify, and operates in Germany, Austria and Switzerland with plans to expand. Given Spotify’s troubles to reach the U.S. shores, do not expect Simfy to be leaving the Rheinland any time soon.

Simfy has an iPhone/iPod version of the app available in Europe. That brings up an interesting question: Apple developers sign an agreement that explicitly says they will abide by the rules, guidelines and practices of Apple App Store approval. If Apple denies a claim for any reason, is there legal recourse? Antitrust is a heavy charge and The Bundeskartellamt is the German equivalent of the Federal Trade Commission as it oversees competition between businesses in Germany.

Apple has had a couple issues with app developers over approvals. In the music streaming department, Apple yanked Grooveshark after complaints from a music label in the United Kingdom. Yet, Pandroa, MOG and Rdio all exist happily in the App Store and do well.

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