“Fortnite” creator Epic Games is prepared for a real cloud of dust against Big Tech and wins the support of other prominent app developers.
Spotify Technology Inc. SPOT,
and Match Group Inc. MTCH,
Recently released statements in support of Epic who filed lawsuit against Apple Inc. AAPL,
and Alphabet Inc.’s toget,
Google late Thursday over monopoly practices.
The tech giants, who represent the two world’s dominant smartphone operating systems, pulled “Fortnite” out of their app stores for breaking their in-app payment rules after Epic tried to sell players Apple and Google were using Their had circumvented offering discounts on in-game currency purchases.
“We fully support the efforts of Epic Games … to show how Apple is using its dominant position and unfair policies to harm consumers, app developers and business owners,” a Match Group spokeswoman said in a statement from Thursday. “Regulators around the world have raised similar concerns and are looking into” what some call “arbitrary Apple practices.”
A Spotify spokesperson said the company “applauds[s] Epic Games’ decision to oppose Apple and to shed further light on Apple’s abuse of its dominant position. The streaming music giant argued in its Thursday statement that “Apple’s unfair practices have penalized competitors and deprived consumers for far too long”.
Facebook Inc. also participated in the criticism. A senior executive told Bloomberg News that Apple has not waived its 30% fee or allowed Facebook to use its own payment tool for a new feature the social media giant has introduced to companies to host virtual events. Alphabet doesn’t waive the fee either, instead allowing Facebook to use its own payment processing tool, according to Bloomberg, and Facebook isn’t cutting its revenue with this feature.
Microsoft Corp. weighed ahead of the Epic saga after Apple found the company couldn’t list its xCloud game streaming service in the App Store because Apple was unable to review all of the games served through the service. Microsoft argued that Apple “consistently treats gaming apps differently and applies milder rules to non-gaming apps even if they contain interactive content,” according to a statement cited by The Verge.
Both Apple and Google keep up to 30% of all purchases of digital goods in apps downloaded through their app stores. This practice is increasingly being pushed back by developers and government officials. Spotify filed an antitrust complaint against Apple in Europe last year, claiming that the company’s App Store’s payment policies made it difficult for other apps to effectively compete against Apple Music.
Regulators are investigating Apple’s App Store practices, which were also the subject of an antitrust hearing by the House of Representatives last month. Legislators asked Apple CEO Tim Cook about the take rates of the company’s App Store and what would prevent the company from increasing the number of purchases related to the App Store.
Read more: Antitrust issues are bruises, but don’t break Big Tech CEOs in historic hearings
Apple said in a statement Thursday after “Fortnite” was removed that the App Store policies “are designed to keep the store safe for our users” and that the company “will make every effort to work with Epic, to fix these violations so they can return “. Fortnite ‘to the App Store. ”
According to analysts, the Match Group, which runs Tinder and other dating apps, could be a major beneficiary of more developer-friendly app store practices. In general, developers pay Apple 30% less digital service revenue for the first year of a recurring subscription and 15% less for all remaining years. However, many dating app users don’t sign up for paid plans for several years, which means Match may be paying the full 30% more often than some other developers.
Apple shares are up 48% over the past three months as the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA.
has increased by 18%.