Apple has another cartel fee on its plate. Messaging app telegram Together with Spotify, has filed a formal complaint against the iOS App Store in Europe, adding a voice to a growing number of developers who are ready to publicly scold what they declare to be Apple’s app “VAT”.
A spokesman for Telegram confirmed the complaint to TechCrunch and referred us to this public telegram post, in which founder Pavel Durov explains seven reasons why he thinks iPhone users should be concerned about the company’s behavior.
These range from the claim that Apple̵
This week, Durov also posted a blog post targeting a number of “myths” that Apple is trying to justify the 30% app fee – for example, the claim that iOS faces fierce competition for developers is. or that developers can choose not to develop for iOS and instead only publish apps for Android.
“Try to imagine Telegram or TikTok as Android -Only apps and you’ll quickly understand why it’s impossible to bypass Apple, ”he writes. “You can’t just exclude iPhone users. As far as iPhone users are concerned, the cost for consumers to switch from an iPhone to an Android device is so high that it is considered a monopolistic tie. “This is cited by a Yale University study to support this claim.
“After anti-monopoly investigations into Apple have been launched in the EU and US, I expect Apple to double the spread of such myths,” added Durov. “We shouldn’t sit idle and let Apple’s lobbyists and PR agents do their thing. Ultimately, it is up to us – consumers and creators – to defend our rights and prevent monopolists from stealing our money. You may think they have led us to a dead end because we have already bought a critical mass of their devices and created a critical mass of apps for them. But we shouldn’t give them a free ride anymore. “
The European Commission declined to comment on Telegram’s complaint.
We also contacted Apple for a comment, but the company also declined to make a statement in the file regarding Telegram’s complaint. A spokesman pointed to an analyst study earlier this year that found iOS had a 15% market share versus 85% of Android. They also referred to a separate analyst report examining commission rates for app and digital content stores and marketplaces. This shows that the rates calculated for similar types of stores are also generally 30%.
The company’s overriding argument against app tax complaints therefore continues to be: A) Apple cannot have monopoly power due to its relatively small market share for mobile operating systems (versus Android); and B) the app store fee is fair as it is basically the same as everyone else. (In the latter point, it is true that Google is also making a 30% cut through the Play Store. However, on the Android platform, users can download apps from the site. Under iOS, users would need to jailbreak their device to get the same freedom free installation to get apps of your choice).
Apple’s arguments are now being actively examined by EU regulators. Last month, the competition commission announced that it was investigating Apple’s iOS store (and Apple Pay). A preliminary survey of the store identified concerns about the conditions and limitations applied by the technology giant.
In particular, with regard to the App Store, the Commission has reviewed Apple’s mandatory requirement that developers use the proprietary in-app buying system and restrictions on the ability of developers to inform iPhone and iPad users about alternative, cheaper purchases outside of the box of the app store.
The EU regulatory investigation is only the latest in a series of important antitrust investigations under the bloc’s current head of competition, Margrethe Vestager – who has also dealt with the business practices of Amazon and Facebook in recent years and has fined Google with a number of record-breaking antitrust penalties.
In the United States, lawmakers are now also actively addressing competition concerns that have long been associated with a number of technology giants – and are exacerbated by the pandemic concentration platform. Apple is one of the worrying technology giants, but doesn’t appear to be high on the target list of US lawmakers.
Yesterday, a hearing by the House’s anti-trust subcommittee testified to four major tech CEOs: Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Tim Cook from Apple, Mark Zuckerberg from Facebook and Sundar Pichai from Google – Pichai, Bezos and Zuckerberg get most questions from the legislature.
However, Cook had a number of questions about how the company operates the App Store – including the commission it charges developers and a specific question why competing screen time apps were removed. When asked if Apple could ever increase its 30% app subscription takeover, Cook tried to sidestep the issue, saying the fee hadn’t changed since the business started.
He then argued that Apple was facing fierce competition for developers – he cited alternative platforms such as Windows and Xbox as fierce competition for developers and compared the competition to attract developers as a “street fight for market share”.
The claim of complainants like Spotify and Telegram is that Cook’s claim that Apple is facing fierce competition for developer goods from its position as the second largest smartphone operating system in the world by market share does not stand up to scrutiny. However, it is up to the EU regulators to determine how the smartphone app market should be defined and whether or not they recognize damage from it.