Telegram files antitrust complaint against Apple's App Store in the EU

nanoguy

Posts: 517   +7
Staff member
The big picture: Hot on the heels of an antitrust hearing where the CEOs of Facebook, Apple, Amazon, and Google were questioned about their companies' business practices, Telegram has filed an antitrust complaint in the EU, hoping to convince regulators that Apple is wielding the App Store as a monopolistic weapon against third-party iOS app developers.

Just as Apple CEO got grilled by the House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee, the creators of encrypted messaging app Telegram filed an antitrust complaint in the EU where they condemn Apple's tight control of the apps and services distributed through the App Store.

In the filing, Telegram argues that Apple must "allow users to download software outside the App Store." Earlier this week, Telegram founder Pavel Durov wrote a blog post where he highlighted what he believes are the top seven myths the Cupertino giant is using to justify the 30 percent cut it takes from app developers' revenues.

For instance, Durov takes issue with Apple's explanation that a 30 percent commission allows the company to maintain the App Store. The Telegram founder explained it would only take tens of millions of dollars to run the App Store, while Apple profits billions from third-party apps. For reference, the App Store generated revenues of $519 billion in 2019, with the Cupertino giant collecting anywhere between 14 and 15 percent of that amount.

Durov notes that users can't choose to install apps from a different source in the way they can on Android, and Apple forces developers to go through the App Store if they want to reach over a billion users on iOS. Building out a competitor for iOS with a different app store isn't a real option, as demonstrated by Microsoft's efforts with Windows Phone that proved the mobile OS market would only fit two players.

Telegram's complaint follows those of other app makers such as Spotify, Epic Games, and Rakuten (the owner of ebook retailer Kobo), which are similarly distraught with the App Store tax and the lack of alternative ways of reaching iOS users. Last month, the European Commission opened an antitrust investigation into Apple's "gatekeeper" role in Apple Pay and the distribution of iOS apps, which will haunt the company for years to come.

Image credit: nat.kanok

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Plutoisaplanet

Posts: 245   +277
I'm a big fan of Telegram's app. But why are they filing a complaint? Telegram is free with no ads, so this doesn't even apply to them. From their FAQ... "Telegram is free and will stay free — no ads, no subscription fees, forever". But then later on in their FAQ...
We believe in fast and secure messaging that is also 100% free.

Pavel Durov, who shares our vision, supplied Telegram with a generous donation, so we have quite enough money for the time being. If Telegram runs out, we will introduce non-essential paid options to support the infrastructure and finance developer salaries. But making profits will never be an end-goal for Telegram.
Source: https://telegram.org/faq#q-how-are-you-going-to-make-money-out-of-this

So maybe they need money now. Either way, Telegram is supposed to be secure, so isn't the model that Apple's app store provides a good thing for them? No side-loading means users will always get the official Telegram app straight from the source. And even in the very next FAQ on from the link, they say, "Big internet companies like Facebook or Google have effectively hijacked the privacy discourse in the recent years." So where is their complaint about the model around Android where tracking is built in? Obviously Apple charges a premium to make money, but they also make it a core goal to put security and privacy before flexibility for users.

The quoted FAQs were written six years ago, so maybe their stance has changed since. I couldn't find any privacy complaints by Telegram or Pavel Durov about Google...
 

dangh

Posts: 121   +155
Excellent news. Hope this will give solid ground to address the issues and enable equal market. iOS needs to change and to allow competition. If apple wouldn't provide music services and so on then it could be defend-able, but being a competitor with spotify, and still require people to pay to apple for using spotify is absolutely a joke.
This issue is already very cisible and EU will be able either block the Apple from accessing EU market or enable an option to install vendor independent platforms. Itis a win - win.
And Durov have no reason to fill complaints against a Google as you can easily install Android without Google services, or install third party app store like amazon or samsung stores.
 
I'm a big fan of Telegram's app. But why are they filing a complaint? Telegram is free with no ads, so this doesn't even apply to them. From their FAQ... "Telegram is free and will stay free — no ads, no subscription fees, forever". But then later on in their FAQ...

Source: https://telegram.org/faq#q-how-are-you-going-to-make-money-out-of-this

So maybe they need money now. Either way, Telegram is supposed to be secure, so isn't the model that Apple's app store provides a good thing for them? No side-loading means users will always get the official Telegram app straight from the source. And even in the very next FAQ on from the link, they say, "Big internet companies like Facebook or Google have effectively hijacked the privacy discourse in the recent years." So where is their complaint about the model around Android where tracking is built in? Obviously Apple charges a premium to make money, but they also make it a core goal to put security and privacy before flexibility for users.

The quoted FAQs were written six years ago, so maybe their stance has changed since. I couldn't find any privacy complaints by Telegram or Pavel Durov about Google...
He's more angry about delayed app update releases. It's at least second time he posts about it. Read his full post. Apple even once removed telegram from app store.
 

Uncle Al

Posts: 7,201   +5,588
As the evidence mounts against the big tech companies along with so much social injustice; all of which has lead to more, louder, and greater complaints as well as protests, the time is ripe for the US to get an administration that cares about social justice and actually does something about it. The first part is easy, the second takes a lot more work.
 

Cubi Dorf

Posts: 210   +80
If there was alternative app store, nobody would using it anyway. Does Android app store have a real competitor on google? I am think everyone using google store on google. apple probably getting huge fine from europe for nothing.
 

Cubi Dorf

Posts: 210   +80
If your government decide apple is ok do this, Microsoft should be allow doing same thing. Expect end to Steam, Uplay, Epic, GoG. no sales. no competitor. all sales through microsoft store. 30% microsoft fee.
ios is computer operating system too. only difference is the form factor of computer it running on. I doubt my country will allowing this even if yours does.
 
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dangh

Posts: 121   +155
If there was alternative app store, nobody would using it anyway. Does Android app store have a real competitor on google? I am think everyone using google store on google. apple probably getting huge fine from europe for nothing.
Like Amazon store and Samsung store? Yes, they are quite popular in Europe, and Samsung is very popular in far East. In China you don't have Google store at all. This is excellent Android feature. I have a few applications written myself I can use on my phone without having to pay dev fees. No store. Full control of my device and shopping habits.