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Handango pays off Omnisoft

But refuses to host its applications

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Handango has agreed to compensate Omnisoft to the tune of $4,250 for kicking the small development company off its site when it attempted to make use of $5,000 of free advertising won in a raffle.

Quite how the figure was reached isn't known, though it must reflect the fact that a couple of advertisements for Omnisoft products did appear on the site before the account was pulled.

Despite the settlement, however, Handango is not listing Omnisoft's products on its site, a listing which has accounted for over half of Omnisoft sales in the past.

The concentration of such distribution muscle into one company has enabled them to shut out one developer, without compensation or explanation, and should be a concern to everyone in the mobile industry. Handango only compensated Omnisoft after considerable lobbying by software buyers and other developers, and it seems that only fear of additional bad publicity will make Handango play nicely.

Effective competition in aggregation and distribution is essential if developers are going to be able to negotiate practical deals. To ensure such a level of competition we will probably have to see more support from platform owners in the future, as they are the ultimate losers if developers are stifled. ®

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