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Apple dares regulators on order to remove gaming, loan and betting apps

*The iPhone maker and global technology giant reportedly informs the Indian Government officials it demands a ‘concrete reason or a legal requirement’ to fully remove the affected apps and make them unavailable consumers in the country

Gbenga Kayode | ConsumerConnect

Amid a government crackdown on gaming, loan and betting apps in India, iPhone maker and global technology giant Apple has told the country’s government officials that it needs a “concrete reason or a legal requirement” to fully comply with the regulatory directive and disable the apps from its App Store.

ConsumerConnect learnt though without outrightly refusing to comply with the February 2023 order by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), the tech company has made it clear that it cannot “arbitrarily” remove the apps and make them unavailable in India.

The iPhone-maker is “vetting” the apps to ensure “only the wrong or bad players of the ecosystem” are taken down, ETtech report said.

It also gathered that several betting apps, including Betway and Lotus 365, banned by the Centre earlier this year, continue to advertise their operations on digital platforms in defiance of the rules.

Many of them continue to be available on the Apple App store, report stated.

Apple takes down some apps, seeks ‘best possible solution’ for others

Meanwhile, as an interim measure, Apple has taken down some of the banned apps, while finding the “best possible solution” for the others.

An unnamed source reportedly said: “When the government issues takedown orders, Apple has one of three options — to tell MeitY that they cannot take down the apps and provide a reason for the same, take the government to court like Twitter did or to comply.”

Why regulators tackle the Big Tech

The affected apps were allegedly in violation of Section 69 of the IT Act, and were believed to contain material that was a threat to the sovereignty and integrity of India, when the government banned them, according to report.

Legal perspective to ban on apps

Commenting on the altercation between Apple and the Indian Government, legal experts said that the clause and its wording had provided Apple the opportunity to challenge the locus standi of the government.

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