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That’s the question floated when addressing the company’s ban of Flash for iPhone and iPad apps. CEO Steve Jobs says that Flash poses a security risk, closed and inappropriate for use on mobile devices. Adobe says that Jobs is being too controlling.

The level of industry and government interest demonstrates how far mobile phone apps have made their way into the consumer market. Companies and software developers aren’t arguing over an unproven technology; mobile apps have generated rich rewards and now the battle is over who gets the money.

U.S. anti-trust regulators are looking into whether Apple is stifling competition by banning Flash from its mobile devices. The Associated Press reported on May 4 that two federal agencies are deciding which of them should lead the investigation.

Beyond the corporate rhetoric, there are implications for Apple. The company could be forced to open up its mobile OS to Flash and other developers. Federal agencies could also look at Apple’s iAd practices and take action there as well. Just as important, federal scrutiny could bolster the fortunes of Flash-friendly phone types such as Google, HTC and the like.