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Apple Store is once again in the spotlight due to its non-transparent policy of interacting with developers who place their applications on the store. Apple is threatening to take down Twitter after it was acquired by Elon Musk, without giving a reason.
The transparency of the Apple Store has long been called into question due to the company's questionable policies and unfair play toward developers that list their applications in the company's store. On Monday, Elon Musk criticized Apple for charging software developers between 15% and 30% for in-app purchases. In addition, he said that the company threatened to remove Twitter from its store, without giving a reason.
Apple has also threatened to withhold Twitter from its App Store, but won’t tell us why— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 28, 2022
Apple has been repeatedly criticized for anti-competitive behavior related to its app store. Representatives for Tile, Spotify, and Match also testified, accusing Apple and Google of charging exorbitant fees and copying their ideas, which was backed by Senator Amy Klobuchar in 2021, according to BBC News. She said both stores “exclude or suppress apps that compete with their own products” and “charge excessive fees that affect competition in the app store economy.”
There were also allegations that Apple used its App Store to compete unfairly with competitors. For example, Apple has released its AirTags, which can be attached to items like car keys to help users find them. The product is very similar to what was already on the market, Tile. Tile's General Counsel Kirsten Daru said “We welcome competition but it has to be fair competition and Apple's idea of competing is patently unfair.” She also accused Apple of preventing Tile from using the technology behind Apple's Find My function, giving AirTags an unfair advantage.
Spotify also accused Apple of using its App Store to charge unfair rates—something Spotify's Head of Global Affairs, Horacio Gutierrez, described as an “Apple Tax.” He also said that Apple directly competed with Spotify with Apple Music, and the in-app charges had made Spotify less competitive. “They are undercutting us on price,” he said. He also criticized Apple for having rules that meant they were unable to tell customers that the service was cheaper if it was bought away from the App Store.
Match, which owns Tinder, also criticized Apple and Google for the charges it had to pay. “It is iron-fisted monopoly control,” said Match General Counsel Jared Sine. “When an industry player has the power to dictate how apps operate, how much they will be forced to pay, and in many cases, if they will even survive, it is a monopoly.”
© 2022, Eva Fox | Tesmanian. All rights reserved.
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About the Author
Eva Fox joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover breaking news as an automotive journalist. The main topics that she covers are clean energy and electric vehicles. As a journalist, Eva is specialized in Tesla and topics related to the work and development of the company.