The dispute between Apple and companies that question the App Store rules is far from over. The new chapter involves creating the Coalition for App Fairness (or Coalition for Justice in Apps), formed by brands such as Spotify, Epic Games, Deezer and Tile. The group says its goal is “to create conditions of competition for developers and give users freedom of choice”.
The coalition classifies Apple’s practices on the App Store as “anti-competitive” and questions the 30% fee charged on transactions in applications. “No other transaction fees – in any industry – come close. This app fee profoundly reduces the consumer’s purchasing power and developer revenue, ”say the companies.
The group also claims that Apple uses its operating system to control what will be released to users and thus gain an advantage over its competitors. “The company requires device manufacturers to limit options, force developers to sell through the App Store, and even steal ideas from competitors.”
On its website, the coalition presented the so-called 10 principles that need to be adopted to ensure fairer competition. Among them are the end of exclusivity of app stores, as is the case with the App Store, and the end of charges and fees charged as “unfair, unreasonable or discriminatory”.
The companies also argue that the technical information to which the app store owner has access also needs to be made available to developers of other apps. In addition, the group asks platform owners not to use developer data to take advantage.
The page also invites owners of other apps to join the claims. The coalition says it accepts “companies of any size, in any industry, that are committed to protecting consumer choice, fostering competition and creating equal conditions for all application and game developers worldwide.”
Apple’s dispute with Spotify and Epic Games
The initiation of coordinated action between developers is the result of several individual initiatives against Apple. Spotify, for example, filed an antitrust complaint in Europe for considering the 30% rate unfair, since Apple Music does not need to pass the amount on to users. The European Commission started its investigation in June this year.
The dispute between Epic Games and Apple also involves the fee. The creator of Fortnite had the App Store account closed, which prevents the launch of new games and updates. This happened after Epic offered its own payment option that bypassed Apple’s system and, consequently, the fee charged by the company.