Apple is under the scrutiny of yet another competition authority. But this time, just for a change, it's iCloud that's under the spotlight, rather than the App Store or Apple's relationship with its developers.
The Italian AGCM (Autorita Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato), the nation's competition regulator, has initiated six investigations into Apple, Google and Dropbox, reports 9to5Mac. The investigations focus on two main strands: whether the companies violate competition laws and/or consumer protection laws in the way they run their services, and whether they have unfair or illegal clauses in their user agreements.
More specifically, as outlined in a press release, the regulator will investigate four accusations that have been made against the companies:
- That the companies reserve the right to terminate the service, even if the user relies on it to store important documents.
- That they refuse to accept responsibility for data loss.
- That they reserve the right to change the agreements at any time.
- That the English-language version of the agreement takes precedence over the local one - in this case the Italian version, which is the one the user will have read before agreeing to the terms - if it can be interpreted differently.
Headlines of this sort have been coming thick and fast this year. Back in July, the AGCM announced a separate investigation into allegations that Apple and Amazon had fixed prices by preventing other resellers getting hold of stock. Today we have also reported on the announcement that Australia is the latest country to investigate pricing and transparency on the App Store (as well as Google Play).
Regardless of the justice or otherwise of the claims above, and no matter how much a certain cloud service or hard drive manufacturer promises it can be depended upon, you should always maintain multiple backup copies of important documents. Even if a service has a warranty and pays compensation if a file is lost, that doesn't get you the file back.
Read our guide to the best Mac backup software for advice on your options.
This article originally appeared on Macworld Sweden. Translation by David Price.