Some recent changes in the iPhone SDK developer policies has restricted third-party compilers to be used to create iPhone and iPad applications. This change made many developers upset, especially at Adobe, where they had just finished their Flash-to-iPhone compiler that allows native iPhone apps to be built using Adobe’s Creative Suite 5. Now the change might have sparked an inquiry by the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice, according to the New York Post.

The new report says the antitrust inquiry is beginning to emerge over Apple’s developer policy. It is apparently “days away” from deciding which agency will manage the inquiry. The argument over the new policy has even caused Steve Jobs to write an open letter on the reasons why Flash has been absent on their devices.

The core of the issue goes back to the reasons why Apple does not want to rely on proprietary third party companies. If there was a new iPhone update which made major changes to the way applications run (like multitasking) they would have to work very closely with companies like Adobe to make sure the applications would function correctly. That would not be a very comfortable situation for Apple because they like to keep major changes from leaking out to the competition. The new change in the developer policy means third party compilers can’t be used so they won’t have to worry about any new features causing major problems if a particular compiler (like Adobe’s) becomes very popular.

Without a doubt this is a very polarizing issue for some developers, and it means Apple might be facing an antitrust inquiry into their developer policies. That is not good news for Apple, who believes they should have full control over their own platform. Either way it will take time for the antitrust inquiry to make it anywhere, this is something that might take years to develop, if it even gets off the ground. What happens next will be up to the FTC or DOJ.