Apple’s 30% commission on every purchase through the App Store is really starting to annoy publishers. After Spotify and Netflix, Rakuten, the publisher of Tinder, and Epic Games are moving up the ladder.
The number of companies protesting against the famous “Apple tax” continues to grow. The Cupertino firm has indeed long been criticized for applying a 30% commission tax on each transaction transiting through the App Store. In addition to eroding publishers’ revenues, this practice has in the past led to competition concerns. Spotify, in particular, had filed a complaint against Apple with the European Commission, claiming that the tax put it at a disadvantage compared to Apple’s in-house service – Apple Music – which is obviously exempt from the 30% commission. The same is true of Rakuten’s e-books, for which the firm must exempt itself from the 30% commission, while Apple sells its own on Apple Books without having to pay anything.
Recently, Match Group (Tinder, OkCupid…) criticized the App Store Commission, telling Axios that “Apple presses industries like eBooks, streaming music and video, cloud storage, games and online dating for 30% of their revenues, which is all the more alarming when Apple then enters this space, as we have seen on several occasions (…) We welcome the opportunity to discuss this with Apple and to create a fair distribution of fees across the App Store, as well as with interested parties in the European Union and the United States. »
This time it’s video game publisher Epic Games that are taking the dance. Just after the launch of Fortnite’s third season, the boss of Epic Games stepped up to the plate and attacked this famous “Apple tax” on Twitter: “Here Apple is talking about equal opportunities. For me, this means: all iOS developers are free to process payments directly, all users are free to install software from any source. In this effort, Epic will not seek or accept a special deal just for us. »
The attack by the boss of Epic Games concerns the special advantages granted to certain firms, in order to avoid them arrogating the 30% commission. In April, the firm announced a program to exempt certain video streaming services from this tax, such as Amazon Prime Video, Altice One and Canal+, which can now make their customers pay for their own services outside the App Store. These numerous criticisms come at a time when Europe has opened two investigations to “assess whether the rules imposed by Apple on developers regarding the distribution of applications via the App Store infringe the European Union’s competition rules. “It is disappointing that the European Commission is bringing forward unfounded complaints from a handful of companies who simply want a free ride and don’t want to follow the same rules as everyone else. »
Source: The Verge