Uh ohs. The world has begun to move on after Steve Job’s public decrying of Flash (and the subsequent word-by-word breakdowns) and the pre-emptive App Store banishment of Adobe’s Flash-to-iPhone compiler — but not everyone is willing to just let go. In fact, two big players are purportedly looking into the whole ordeal: the US Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission.
According to the New York Post, the two organizations are currently negotiating over which will lead an antitrust. Alas, it’s not clear whether these are “No, you do it!” negotiations or “No, I want to do it!” negotiations.
“Antitrust?” you say. “Isn’t that all about prohibiting things that restrict free competition?”
It is! And that’s exactly what these watchdogs fear is going on.
You see, Adobe’s cross-compiler would (or, would in time, in theory) allow for developers to build one application that worked on a number of smartphone platforms (the iPhone included) rather than requiring them to invest the resources to build for each platform separately.
By banishing cross-compiling, is Apple making unfair moves to force developers to choose between developing on iDevices and developing on.. everything else? That’s what the inquiry will aim to figure out.
Apple has been framing their decision as a positive one for developers from the beginning: they just don’t want developers to rely on tools that might be out of date versus the official SDK — or even abandoned altogether, eventually.