Apple faces criticism for changes to App Store policy, accused of prioritizing profits
January 19, 2024

Apple faces criticism for changes to App Store policy, accused of prioritizing profits

In response to recent policy changes App Store-a by the company Apple, critics, including Spotify and Epic Games, accuse the tech giant of putting profits before the interests of developers and users. Changes followed after the lawsuit process Epic vs Apple and the latter court decisions, but they provoked new controversies instead of calming passions.

Spotify spokeswoman Jeanne Moran expressed strong disapproval, arguing that Apple’s imposition of a 27 percent tax on alternative payment methods demonstrates the company’s relentless pursuit of profits within its monopoly App Store system. Moran further described this move as “scandalous” and called on the European Commission to prevent similar changes within the European Union. writes The Verge.

Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney joined the criticism, calling Apple’s actions “anti-competitive” and claiming that the App Store’s policy “completely undermines” the court’s decision. Sweeney further argues that the changes stifle market competition by restricting developers from offering in-app purchases at lower prices, given the added financial burden of third-party processor fees and Apple’s 27% fee.

Everyone is against the App Store

The Coalition for Fair Play (CAF), a group founded by Spotify, Epic Games, Tile and other companies seeking to reduce the dominance of Apple and Google in the mobile app industry, also criticized the changes. CAF Executive Director, Rick VanMeter, he stated that Apple’s approach to complying with the court decision benefits neither developers nor users. He emphasized that the changes do not contribute to greater consumer choice, lower prices for in-app purchases, or introduce competition into Apple’s closed ecosystem.

This isn’t the first time Apple has faced pushback over such policies. In 2022, the company allowed dating app developers in the Netherlands to use alternative payment options with the same 27 percent tax, resulting in a $55 million fine from Dutch regulators for non-compliance.

Apple also implemented a similar policy for all app developers in South Korea, where a new law prevented Apple and Google from forcing developers to use first-party payment processors. South Korean authorities have warned both tech giants of possible fines for violating the new payment rules.

It remains to be seen how Apple will deal with criticism from developers, regulators and the wider tech community. The focus on alleged anti-competitive practices and the impact on consumer choice suggests that the controversy surrounding App Store policies is far from over.