Apple to be probed by Feds over Flash fiasco

Another twist has developed in the war between Apple and Flash as the American Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission prepares to investigate Apple for antitrust practices.

It all boils down to the vehemently anti-Flash stance Jobs has taken in recent months, with the Feds’ keen eye on a particular section of his software developer kit license agreement:

“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 (e.g., Applications that link to Documented APIs through an intermediary translation or compatibility layer or tool are prohibited).”

Jobs claims that “a third party layer of software come between the platform and the developer [and] ultimately results in sub-standard apps”. So, he’s doing this for you, not his pocket. Really, however, it’s clearly another anti-competitive stunt by a company that trembles at the idea of others making something better.

If this ends up in court Adobe could easily show how its cancelled range of Flash programs for Apple products has resulted in financial loss. The license agreement is not exclusive to Flash either and may present a bigger case for the Feds to ponder.

Apple has become well known for its requirement that you don’t eat any other fruit, but if this Federal probe goes ahead and the outcome doesn’t favour them, Jobs’ Mob may yet be forced to eat their five a day. See PC World here.