Apple: The Internet Mafia Troll Under the Bridge

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Several streaming entertainment, dating, audiobook, and game application companies are banding together and taking a hard stance against Apple and the AppStore.

Match Group (Tinder, Hinge), Epic Games (Fortnite), Spotify, Japanese online-electronic store/Japan’s largest Internet banker Rakuten, and others are claiming that Apple is acting as the internet Mafia troll under the bridge; meaning they are taking a huge chunk of their profits, and also submitting them to not have any control over how they set their prices for their customers.

Apple has a long-standing policy of collecting a Mafia-like “cut” of subscriptions and other purchases made through the App Store.

For example with Tinder, a cut of the revenue is taken from daters who upgrade or purchase a subscription. Epic Games pays 30 percent for items players buy within the game, which is a lot of money. Apple basically puts their fingerprints on taking Match Group’s and Epic Games’ profits and claim they have the right to do it.

Not all apps have to pay the internet Mafia troll under the bridge, including Airbnb, ride-sharing apps, and Amazon Prime.

Spotify has gotten the European Commission to launch two antitrust investigations into Apple’s stranglehold and nefarious practices regarding the treatment of companies forced to use AppStore services.

According to Spotify, the AppStore forces competitor apps to use them whether they want to or not, take a chunk of their profits, suffocate their ability to innovate and grow, and promote their own music app as the number one streaming platform.

Anytime a subscriber uses an application through the AppStore they collect 15 to 30 percent of the application’s profit. Apple is doing this for all subscription services forced to use the platform, so imagine how much “mucho dinero” they are making.

Rakuten believes the 30 percent commission enforced by Apple is not competitive for eBooks available for purchase through the AppStore. Like Spotify, Rakuten is forced to use the services, only to be crushed and usurped by the late Steve Job’s baby, promoting their own similar services.

One of the several other companies discontent with the technical giant is Hey email/Basecamp. The web software company was blocked by the AppStore from installing a needed bug-fix update in their software. Apple then coerced them to commit to a subscription in-app to avoid being canned from the AppStore. CTO David Heinemeier Hansson has referred to the mega-corporation as gangsters.

“Apple is a partner, but also a dominant platform whose actions force the vast majority of consumers to pay more for third-party apps that Apple arbitrarily defined as ‘digital services,’” a Match Group spokesperson said.

According to Apple spokesperson Josh Rosenstock in an emailed statement to the Washington Post: “It’s disappointing the European Commission is advancing baseless complaints from a handful of companies who simply want a free ride, and don’t want to play by the same rules as everyone else. We don’t think that’s right — we want to maintain a level playing field where anyone with determination and a great idea can succeed,”

Apple is taking a stance that fees are fair and help cover the costs of their service. They also claim to offer security to customers downloading apps through them.

They are not the only internet Mafia troll under the bridge. Amazon is also facing potential antitrust charges in Europe for its treatment of third-party sellers on its site.

By Alexander Campbell


Washington Post: Tinder and Fortnite criticize A**** for its ‘AppStore monopoly’
The Verge: Epic Games and Match Group join Spotify in protesting A****’s AppStore fees
Tech-Geeked (Blog): Epic Games and Match Group join Spotify in protest of A****’s App Store fees

Image by Whohoo120 Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons – Creative Commons License


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