Elon Musk isn’t the first — or most powerful — executive to accept Apple’s App Store fees.
The industry, from developers to CEOs, has long balked at the so-called “app store tax” of 30%.
Lawsuits, regulatory bodies, corporations and others have failed to implement more changes.
Elon Musk publicly Initiated a heist Against Apple this week, the iPhone maker levies a “secret” 30% fee on all app transactions on its iOS platform.
While Musk is new to this particular fight, it’s part of a battle that’s been waged in the tech industry for years: For years, everyone from independent app developers to CEOs have denounced it. Apple’s “monopoly” hold In its app store, it must use its internal payment processing service.
However, Musk remains the most prominent public figure challenging Apple, and his public stance on the issue highlights what has been a relatively important issue for app-based businesses. For Musk, he said Aims to make Twitter “all action”. Rolling social media in with shopping and other online payments, that 30% reduction can make meaningful traction in business.
“It’s pretty unique that one of the world’s richest people is having the same problems that a small app developer — maybe one or two employees — is experiencing,” said Rick VanMeter, the industry’s managing director. The group Coalition for App Fairness is a frequent critic of the so-called “Apple Tax.”
At the same time, Musk’s wealth and influence may not be enough to turn the tide and make Apple repent. Over the years, Apple has fended off lawsuits, regulators around the world, and its peers in the tech industry — none of which have had much success in changing Apple’s approach to paying for apps.
But history may not be on the side of the new Twitter owner. A high-profile case, global regulators and major companies have all tried to change Apple’s usage payment systems with little success.
Epic Games challenged Apple more directly
Apple’s payments were most challenged in 2020 when Epic Games sued after its mega-popular game “Fortnite” was removed from the App Store, offering discounts to users if they used non-Apple payment methods to purchase digital goods.
The outcome of the case came in late 2021, a The judge mostly ruled in favor of Apple Except for the iPhone maker’s offer to allow developers to connect to non-Apple payment methods. Both sides are currently appealing the decision, with the final outcome and impact of the legal battle uncertain.
Epic’s challenge was successful in advancing the larger cause of pressuring Apple to change its ways. Shortly after the lawsuit was filed, a group of companies including Spotify, Tinder parent Match Group, Tile and Blockchain.com formed the Coalition for App Fairness, with the self-appointed task of advocating for a more balanced movement between apps and their marketplaces. .
The coalition introduced 10 principles that all app marketplaces want to follow, including a demand to eliminate “unfair, unjustified or discriminatory fees or revenue shares” and a fundamental plea to allow developers to communicate directly with their users.
Apple has largely resisted regulation
The renewed focus on the App Store’s 30% transaction fee reiterates the problem and the need for legal solutions, said Vanmeter of the Alliance for App Fairness.
USA, Australia, Japan, South Korea, Russia, and In other countries Notable iPhone users have set their sights on Apple’s App Store payment systems. The European Union, Japan, South Korea, and the Netherlands are some of the jurisdictions that have successfully passed laws targeting the “apple tax,” with others such as the United Kingdom expected to follow suit soon.
The U.S., however, has yet to join — although a bill called the Open Utility Markets Act has languished on the Senate floor since its introduction in February.
“If the U.S. doesn’t act, it will really fall behind these other jurisdictions that are moving forward to address competition issues in the utility market,” VanMeter said. “Here is a real opportunity for the United States to be a leader in that debate.”
Even where Apple faces new laws limiting some of its powers, the tech giant hasn’t always shown full compliance. Dutch And South Korean regulators clashed with Apple So far those countries have made few, if any, changes in the way they do business.
All that said, Musk and his followers are now joining a fight in the public and private spheres, and it’s unclear whether he’ll succeed in pressuring Apple to rethink things. But Evercore ISI analyst Mark Mahaney also says the weight of his influence changes things somewhat.
“I didn’t know it was that different,” Mahaney said. “I’m not sure he’s going to have a quick fix for that anytime soon, but his voice is important.”
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