Apple critics Spotify, Epic, and others form coalition to fight for App Store changes

midian182

Posts: 6,068   +50
Staff member
A hot potato: Apple has clashed with plenty of companies in the past, and now a group of them, including Epic Games and Spotify, have formed a nonprofit group to challenge Cupertino's App Store practices. The Coalition for App Fairness says it has been founded to "advocate for freedom of choice and fair competition across the app ecosystem."

Virtually all 13 founding app developers have butted heads with Apple. Epic, of course, is currently suing Apple over antitrust claims after Fortnite was removed from the App Store following the introduction of Epic’s own in-app payment platform.

Spotify launched a complaint against Apple last year, calling the 30 percent cut it takes from developers unfair. The music streaming giant said that Apple acts as "the stadium owner, referee, and player, and tilts the playing field in favor of its own services."

The group has set out 10 “App Store Principles” in its demands. These include no developer being made to use an app store exclusively, not being blocked from a platform based on a company's business practices, and not having to pay unfair, unreasonable or discriminatory fees.

"As enforcers, regulators, and legislators around the world investigate Apple for its anti-competitive behavior, The Coalition for App Fairness will be the voice of app and game developers in the effort to protect consumer choice and create a level playing field for all," said Horacio Gutierrez, head of global affairs at Spotify.

The website notes the disparity between the 30 percent fee apple takes and the maximum 5 percent upper limit fees charged by other payment providers for purchases. Apple, whose market cap recently passed the $2 trillion milestone, made over $50 billion in store tax revenue last year.

Permalink to story.

 

Endymio

Posts: 588   +474
>> "The Coalition for App Fairness says it has been founded to "advocate for freedom of choice and fair competition across the app ecosystem..."

The app ecosystem includes all apps, across all devices. Using this proper definition, there is freedom of choice and fair competition. If you want to make a profit off software running on Apple's phones, on an ecosystem they created, you have to pay them a percentage. If you don't like the terms of that deal, you are free to use another ecosystem or to build your own. Freedom .... ain't it a wonderful thing?
 

Fearghast

Posts: 274   +177
I hope this time, they will be successful in bringing up some change, now they are not 100% rely upon 10yo Fortnite players and Epic "reputation".
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ivan Filipovic

Squid Surprise

Posts: 3,441   +2,340
Steam charges 30% I believe... Google Play Store also charges 30%.... not sure they have a leg to stand on...

This is simply an attempt to get more money out of Apple...
 
  • Like
Reactions: tacobravo

drufense

Posts: 10   +2
The solution is simple, allow other app stores to function on Apple's operating systems and or allow users to manually install any app directly from other Apple unapproved sources if they so choose, just like regulators have ensured happens on most other ubiquitous operating systems.

This gives developers an option on the OS and creates competition that keeps app store costs and policies reasonable based on perceived value on both sides. The reason why it is not implemented? Apple wants a cut of everything and regulators have chosen to allow it so far. Why? I guess everyone has different opinions on this...

The fact that Apple sometimes allegedly acts in bad faith against developers with competing products or interests who are selling on an app store that Apple has total control over doesn't help matters. Some may say it could be classed as an abuse of power or unfair competition if there are no other reasonable options available to the developers on the operating system.

There are other reasonable options for developers who choose not to use Steam or Google play store because they can choose to use another app store for distribution to end-users on the operating systems or serve their apps directly through their own websites and get users to download and install it via their browsers without undue financially motivated interference from the owner of the operating system they are coding for.
 
  • Like
Reactions: dangh

Endymio

Posts: 588   +474
The solution is simple, allow other app stores to function on Apple's operating systems..."
There are homeless people living in your city, and you have unused space in your home. The solution is simple: allow them to live rent-free with you.

Do you see the parallel here? Your home and the Apple app store are both private property. As owner of that property, you have control over how it is used. That's a legal principle that has stood society well.

...and or allow users to manually install any app directly from other Apple unapproved sources if they so choose, just like regulators have ensured happens on most other ubiquitous operating systems.
The difference here is that iOS is not "ubiquitous", nor anywhere close. It lacks a majority share even in the US, and worldwide -- which is the true market for phone apps today -- its market share is under 20%. It in no way fits the definition of a monopoly, and so its actions are legal and not subject to regulatory oversight.
 

Uncle Al

Posts: 7,483   +5,988
I sincerely doubt that any money making enterprise is going to be "fair" when there is an opportunity to get a step up on the competition and/or put the screws to the clients ..... seems only fair to give them all a good screwing, even if it's one at a time and Apple has been long over due to putting them at the front of the line seems only "fair" ..... LOL
 
If they manage to pull this out, I can imagine this scenario or similar:

iPhone user sets that every purchase must be approved because his 10yo kid plays Fortnite and he doesn't want to spend even one cent on the game. Because you can now buy imaginary stuff in-game by going directly to Epic, kid takes credit card and enter details in-game and spends 1000$. User goes mad at Apple, but they can't help him because purchases were not made on their store and Apple redirects them to Epic. Epic says purchases are valid and that they can't do a thing about it. User goes mad and story goes out how Apple is ripping people.

Sure, 30% is a lot, but I would actually raise in-game purchases as a government tax to 50% or ban them all together, because it is simple ripoff. Games should have a fixed one time cost or subscription.
 

m4a4

Posts: 1,986   +1,822
TechSpot Elite
Good. Apple has been bullying others on iOS for too long (and this further points to that).

You can't expect to have a platform with hundreds of millions of people, directly compete in it, and have it tightly controlled behind a walled garden too.
 
  • Like
Reactions: dangh

Stoly

Posts: 42   +20
Apple can't give special treatment to anyone. It charges 30% fee to all paid apps in the appstore. If it lets anyone else have its own in-app payment, not only it looses money, it will potentially loose more money from developers switching to 3rd party app payment.

I don't like the apple ecosystem, but all these companies just want more money for themselves.