The New York Post reports that the FTC and the Justice Department are deciding which of those two entities will conduct an inquiry into Apple’s ban on iPhone-iPad development using cross-platform tools such as Adobe’s Flash-to-iPhone.

An inquiry doesn’t necessarily mean action will be taken against Apple, which argues the rule is in place to ensure the quality of the apps it sells to customers. Typically, regulators initiate inquiries to determine whether a full-fledged investigation ought to be launched. If the inquiry escalates to an investigation, the agency handling the matter would issue Apple a subpoena seeking information about the policy.

An inquiry is harmless in theory, often a slippery slope in practice.  While there is certainly much to complain about, the general principle of not meddling when the market is still in its fluid infancy is the dominant consideration here.  Remember the Microsoft case?