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Apple pulls Match.com app for violating App Store policy, skirting 30% cut

post #1 of 38
Thread Starter 
Apple has removed an app by Match.com because the developer allowed users to subscribe to the dating service via a direct link within the app, a violation of Apple's App Store policies for in app subscriptions.

Apple's policy states "Apps can read or play approved content that is subscribed to or purchased outside of the app, as long as there is no button or external link in the app to purchase the approved content," wording that supports services like Amazon's Kindle app, Netflix, or Hulu.

Match.com sells subscriptions to its online dating service that would similarly pass App Store rules if its app hadn't included a link directing would-be subscribers to sign up for the service on the company's own site, rather than offering only in app subscriptions that go thorough Apple's servers, for which Apple asks for its 30 percent revenue cut.

Apple's subscription policies have drawn criticism from a variety of companies that insist that they can't afford to split their revenue with Apple in exchange for gaining access to the App Store market the company created for iOS devices.
post #2 of 38
That makes perfect sense.

Match.com must be pretty stupid if they think that Apple would never notice their violations and disregard for the rules.

If somebody wants their app on the appstore, then they either follow the rules or they can get lost. The choice is theirs.
post #3 of 38
To expound on the above, Apple has created a means by which an individual, small company, or large company can become very wealthy very quickly without the archaic mess of distribution channels and storefront deals.

And they were the first to do it wildly successfully and to critical acclaim.

Asking for a percentage of said individual/company's income is a small price to pay for said privilege. Or they can do it the way people did it last millennium and make physical software or host their own sites for their stuff.
post #4 of 38
Idiots. Who would try to meet someone through their iPhone anywho?
post #5 of 38
I think this is a fair policy on Apple's part... they take care of all the distribution and charge a fee. If a company wants to make their service available on iOS without paying they can still do that through HTML5, so it's not even like Apple is forcing them to enter the App Store to be accessible.
post #6 of 38
It's amazing that people considered Microsoft a Monopoly but now that is called Apple things are different, why should anyone be obligated to pay a fee to Apple for a service not wanted or done by others!!!
post #7 of 38
Ha Ha Dummies
post #8 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by SaltWater View Post

It's amazing that people considered Microsoft a Monopoly but now that is called Apple things are different

because Apple don't actually have a monopoly perhaps?
post #9 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by SaltWater View Post

It's amazing that people considered Microsoft a Monopoly but now that is called Apple things are different, why should anyone be obligated to pay a fee to Apple for a service not wanted or done by others!!!

If it's not "wanted", why would you want to use it? If it's not done by others, what do you call the Android Marketplace and the Windows Phone 7 Lemonade Stand ?
post #10 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by SaltWater View Post

It's amazing that people considered Microsoft a Monopoly but now that is called Apple things are different, why should anyone be obligated to pay a fee to Apple for a service not wanted or done by others!!!

I don't think that monopoly means what you think it means.
post #11 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by SaltWater View Post

It's amazing that people considered Microsoft a Monopoly but now that is called Apple things are different, why should anyone be obligated to pay a fee to Apple for a service not wanted or done by others!!!

Uh....it's not a monopoly if it's your service within your service. Apple can do what they want. They're not regulated in this case. It would only be a monopoly if nobody could make apps and only apple could. Different case.
post #12 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Match.com sells subscriptions to its online dating service that would similarly pass App Store rules if its app hadn't included a link directing would-be subscribers to sign up for the service on the company's own site, rather than offering only in app subscriptions that go thorough Apple's servers, for which Apple asks for its 30 percent revenue cut.

Apple's subscription policies have drawn criticism from a variety of companies that insist that they can't afford to split their revenue with Apple in exchange for gaining access to the App Store market the company created for iOS devices.

Good heavens. If the 'varieties' of companies spent as much time whining as they do marketing their goods and/or services, they'd do a whole lot more to improve their bottom line(s).

As good as the App Store is as an integrated marketing and sales platform, it's not the only marketing/sales vehicle for the complainers. Stop making it appear that you're being excluded from any and all sales. Apple charges what it charges, just like any other marketing vehicle. Try complaining to a major newspaper about the cost of an 1/4 page above the fold advertisement and see how far you get.

Better to use a marketing service within your current budget and when you can afford more, upgrade. Don't expect Apple or anyone else to reduce their prices just because YOU can't afford them.

And as to match.com, you got caught. Next time follow the rules.
post #13 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by 80025 View Post

Good heavens. If the 'varieties' of companies spent as much time whining as they do marketing their goods and/or services, they'd do a whole lot more to improve their bottom line(s).

As good as the App Store is as an integrated marketing and sales platform, it's not the only marketing/sales vehicle for the complainers. Stop making it appear that you're being excluded from any and all sales. Apple charges what it charges, just like any other marketing vehicle. Try complaining to a major newspaper about the cost of an 1/4 page above the fold advertisement and see how far you get.

Better to use a marketing service within your current budget and when you can afford more, upgrade. Don't expect Apple or anyone else to reduce their prices just because YOU can't afford them.

And as to match.com, you got caught. Next time follow the rules.

Very well said.
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post #14 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Very well said.

Not really.
At least not this part:

"If the 'varieties' of companies spent as much time whining as they do marketing their goods and/or services, they'd do a whole lot more to improve their bottom line(s). "
post #15 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by rugby_kid View Post

Uh....it's not a monopoly if it's your service within your service. Apple can do what they want. They're not regulated in this case. It would only be a monopoly if nobody could make apps and only apple could. Different case.

Apple does have a monopoly--it is in software distribution for the iPhone. If I'm a developer and I want to write software for the iPhone, I don't have the option of any other distribution channel outside the App Store if I disagree with Apple's terms. Perhaps one could claim that jailbreaking and the Cydia app store show that there is not a monopoly on iPhone software distribution, but the fact that you have to jailbreak your iPhone first weakens that argument.

Think of it this way--what if Apple locked down OS X where the ONLY way to get software for your Mac was via the Mac App Store? Would that not constitute a monopoly on Mac software distribution?

Having a monopoly itself may not be illegal, but abusing it is--look at Microsoft in the 1990s abusing its monopoly on the desktop OS market. Could this be an abuse of Apple's monopoly on the iOS software distribution monopoly? Perhaps it is.
post #16 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

To expound on the above, Apple has created a means by which an individual, small company, or large company can become very wealthy very quickly without the archaic mess of distribution channels and storefront deals.

And they were the first to do it wildly successfully and to critical acclaim.

Asking for a percentage of said individual/company's income is a small price to pay for said privilege. Or they can do it the way people did it last millennium and make physical software or host their own sites for their stuff.

Actually, they cannot. Your only choice for iOS software distribution is the App Store. If you could use the Cydia store without jailbreaking you may have a point, but because you have to go to extra steps to get outside the iOS walled garden, that argument is weakened considerably.
post #17 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by frdmfghtr View Post

Actually, they cannot.

They can't sell software pressed onto spinning disc media read with a laser and purchased from your local store?

Quote:
Your only choice for iOS software distribution is the App Store.

But iOS is not your only choice for software distribution. That's the argument.
post #18 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

They can't sell software pressed onto spinning disc media read with a laser and purchased from your local store?



But iOS is not your only choice for software distribution. That's the argument.

The argument as I read it revolves around software for iOS, not other platforms. I can't go to my local software store of choice, buy an iOS app and install it. I have to go through the App Store. And that is where the monopoly lies.
post #19 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by frdmfghtr View Post

And that is where the monopoly lies.

I'm fairly certain that you're unsure what a monopoly entails.
post #20 of 38
Wait a minute. From the sounds of this agreement, couldn't Match.com simply have put out an App that requires registration from the website prior to Mobile use and avoided the 30% anyway?
post #21 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Very well said.

Thank you, gatorguy. I appreciate your positive comment.
post #22 of 38
Arguing about what is/isn't a monopoly is a fools errand.

Monopolies are not illegal it is the abuse of them that is. Apple can have it's Walled Garden just like Facebook or Amazon. It's only an abuse of their monopoly if they are found to use their monopoly status to coerce unfairly. For example "If you deliver an Android version of your app we will not promote your app on our store"

Match.com doesn't let free subscribers message other free subscribers so they know all about the paywall and should be following the rules outside of their own sandbox.
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post #23 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

g for a percentage of said individual/company's income is a small price to pay for said privilege.

it's also nothing new. Bookstores keep a share of the books etc they sell. The distributors the same for the publishers to the bookstores. Record Labels to record stores to customer and so on.

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post #24 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post

because Apple don't actually have a monopoly perhaps?

Oh Apple has a clear monopoly in the mobile internet device market. Hands down, no doubt about it. Because a monopoly is merely a vast position of strength in a market.

HOWEVER. vertical integration is NOT illegal in or out of a monopoly. The only things that are illegal are how you got there (being the things that folks want the most is not illegal just good for you and your business). And what you do afterwards. Specifically how you use or attempt to use your power to encourage growth in other unrelated markets.

Microsoft got in trouble because they tried to use their monopoly in the computer operating system market to push themselves higher in the web browser market by forcing OEMs to install Internet Explorer and only Internet Explorer on computers. And also by cutting off access to details of windows needed to make software work properly and threatening to sue anyone that tried to reverse engineer (which is actually allowed under fair use tenets of copyright law). The courts didn't agree that the two were related markets.

For Apple to be using their monopoly illegally they would have to pull a move like get rid of iTunes for Windows, iCloud etc and force you to have a Mac computer if you want to use an iPad etc. By a similar vein, I suppose someone could take them to task for not creating a Windows based SDK for developers but given the computer languages involved it might not get the outcome they want in court. But that argument is more likely to get heard over "Apple controls what apps you can 'legally' use on your device, that's a monopoly. They must be sued" (especially since you can run outside apps if you want to take the steps and void your warranty in the process)


Quote:
Originally Posted by rugby_kid View Post

Uh....it's not a monopoly if it's your service within your service. Apple can do what they want. They're not regulated in this case. It would only be a monopoly if nobody could make apps and only apple could. Different case.

Actually no, that's not a monopoly at all. In fact it's really just a stronger degree of what they are doing, completely legally, now.

that said, at this point it would be a dick move and Apple's not stupid. But legally they could do it if they wish

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post #25 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

I'm fairly certain that you're unsure what a monopoly entails.

Maybe...so I looked it up on Dictionary.com.

1. exclusive control of a commodity or service in a particular market, or a control that makes possible the manipulation of prices. Compare duopoly, oligopoly.
2. an exclusive privilege to carry on a business, traffic, or service, granted by a government.
3. the exclusive possession or control of something.
4. something that is the subject of such control, as a commodity or service.
5. a company or group that has such control.

By definition #3, Apple has a monopoly --exclusive control of something, namely distribution of iOS apps.

Let's go back for a minute so I can make myself clear on where my comments came from. Match.com violated the App Store terms and got the app pulled. OK, no argument there.

Apple ][ said "If somebody wants their app on the appstore, then they either follow the rules or they can get lost. The choice is theirs. " I think this is the point you were expanding on, when you made your comment about going to a physical distribution chain or one's own online distribution means if you don't like Apple's terms.

That's where my comment came in, in that doing so is not an option. Apple has a monopoly on iOS software distribution based on the definition of "monopoly." Maybe the monopoly discussion is a bit offtopic, but that's the part of the discussion I was addressing.
post #26 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by frdmfghtr View Post

Apple does have a monopoly--it is in software distribution for the iPhone. If I'm a developer and I want to write software for the iPhone, I don't have the option of any other distribution channel outside the App Store if I disagree with Apple's terms. Perhaps one could claim that jailbreaking and the Cydia app store show that there is not a monopoly on iPhone software distribution, but the fact that you have to jailbreak your iPhone first weakens that argument.

Think of it this way--what if Apple locked down OS X where the ONLY way to get software for your Mac was via the Mac App Store? Would that not constitute a monopoly on Mac software distribution?

Having a monopoly itself may not be illegal, but abusing it is--look at Microsoft in the 1990s abusing its monopoly on the desktop OS market. Could this be an abuse of Apple's monopoly on the iOS software distribution monopoly? Perhaps it is.

Oh, God. Go to law school, study corporate law, go to Black's Law Dictionary, study case law and then come back and correctly use the term monopoly. Until then you're just blowing smoke and you really don't know what you're talking about.

In fact, anybody here short of being a lawyer doesn't really know what "monopoly" means and most arguments are just plain wrong or whining.

I hate these "Apple is a monopoly" threads for that reason.
post #27 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Psych_guy View Post

In fact, anybody here short of being a lawyer doesn't really know what "monopoly" means.

So when one gets a law degree, they are automatically allowed (and only then) to know what a monopoly is?
Quote:
and most arguments are just plain wrong or whining

That's very likely but one does not need to be a lawyer to know what something is.
post #28 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

Arguing about what is/isn't a monopoly is a fools errand.

Monopolies are not illegal it is the abuse of them that is. Apple can have it's Walled Garden just like Facebook or Amazon. It's only an abuse of their monopoly if they are found to use their monopoly status to coerce unfairly. For example "If you deliver an Android version of your app we will not promote your app on our store"

Match.com doesn't let free subscribers message other free subscribers so they know all about the paywall and should be following the rules outside of their own sandbox.

Nevermind.
post #29 of 38
Some of Match.com's own policies throw sand in the face of "fairness" so they have zero justification to complain. To wit: When one subscribes to Match.com, they've purchased the ability to e-mail other members, paying or otherwise (i.e., free). But here's the kicker: The free member can't read that message. In essence, the paying member doesn't receive what they've paid for--that is, the ability to correspond with the all of the "thousands" of members, including those who maintain free profiles. Worse, Match.com uses "social engineering" to goad non-paying recipients into signing up to see who sent them a message by advising recipients of messages that they have mail but don't show you the name (or a picture, if posted) of the person who sent it, unless you pay for the access.

With all of this said, it's good to hear Apple lower the boom on Match.com. Match.com and its board of directors should be sued.
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post #30 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeputyRob View Post

Some of Match.com's own policies throw sand in the face of "fairness" so they have zero justification to complain. To wit: When one subscribes to Match.com, they've purchased the ability to e-mail other members, paying or otherwise (i.e., free). But here's the kicker: The free member can't read that message. In essence, the paying member doesn't receive what they've paid for--that is, the ability to correspond with the all of the "thousands" of members, including those who maintain free profiles. Worse, Match.com uses "social engineering" to goad non-paying recipients into signing up to see who sent them a message by advising recipients of messages that they have mail but don't show you the name (or a picture, if posted) of the person who sent it, unless you pay for the access.

With all of this said, it's good to hear Apple lower the boom on Match.com. Match.com and its board of directors should be sued.

+1

Also try to find an easy and clear way to delete your account.
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post #31 of 38
Considering the ungodly high subscription rates listed on their website, I'm sure they could afford to give Apple a fair cut.
post #32 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by frdmfghtr View Post

Apple does have a monopoly--it is in software distribution for the iPhone. If I'm a developer and I want to write software for the iPhone, I don't have the option of any other distribution channel outside the App Store if I disagree with Apple's terms. Perhaps one could claim that jailbreaking and the Cydia app store show that there is not a monopoly on iPhone software distribution, but the fact that you have to jailbreak your iPhone first weakens that argument.

Think of it this way--what if Apple locked down OS X where the ONLY way to get software for your Mac was via the Mac App Store? Would that not constitute a monopoly on Mac software distribution?

Having a monopoly itself may not be illegal, but abusing it is--look at Microsoft in the 1990s abusing its monopoly on the desktop OS market. Could this be an abuse of Apple's monopoly on the iOS software distribution monopoly? Perhaps it is.

http://images.cheezburger.com/comple...6736623535.jpg
post #33 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeputyRob View Post

Some of Match.com's own policies throw sand in the face of "fairness" so they have zero justification to complain. To wit: When one subscribes to Match.com, they've purchased the ability to e-mail other members, paying or otherwise (i.e., free). But here's the kicker: The free member can't read that message. In essence, the paying member doesn't receive what they've paid for--that is, the ability to correspond with the all of the "thousands" of members, including those who maintain free profiles. Worse, Match.com uses "social engineering" to goad non-paying recipients into signing up to see who sent them a message by advising recipients of messages that they have mail but don't show you the name (or a picture, if posted) of the person who sent it, unless you pay for the access.

With all of this said, it's good to hear Apple lower the boom on Match.com. Match.com and its board of directors should be sued.

I tried out the service and when I got signed up for spam through their site, requested a refund. No matter how many hours I spent arguing with supervisors, the company simply reiterated its no refund policy; one that is nowhere in the terms and conditions (as far as I could find). I was, however, able to get my charges refunded by disputing them at my bank.
post #34 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by SaltWater View Post

It's amazing that people considered Microsoft a Monopoly but now that is called Apple things are different

Err, because they are different? Microsoft is a convicted monopolyst because they used profits from one product to artificially lower prices in unrelated markets. They also leveraged their position in the market to freeze out competitors by enacting anti-competitive agreements with OEMs.

Apple just builds better product and the market decides.

I know it's hard for those who have an irrational dislike of Apple to fathom that people could actually want Apple products because they think they will work the best for them - but sometimes it really is that simple.

Quote:
why should anyone be obligated to pay a fee to Apple for a service not wanted or done by others!!!

what an odd question. Match obviously tout there was value being in the app store vs just being available on the web. That value isn't good enough that they should have to follow the rules? They shouldn't have to "just because"?

Seriously?
post #35 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by frdmfghtr View Post

Apple does have a monopoly--it is in software distribution for the iPhone. If I'm a developer and I want to write software for the iPhone, I don't have the option of any other distribution channel outside the App Store if I disagree with Apple's terms.

Boo Hoo. As a consumer, it's Apple strict control that makes the iPhone so appealing.

Don't like it? Go pick another platform that offers you more freedom. But stop acting like you are picked on for participating in a vibrant ecosystem that is vibrant primarily because of that which you are complaining.

Just because you don't like the exact way something is structured doesn't mean it's a monopoly
post #36 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by frdmfghtr View Post

I can't go to my local software store of choice, buy an iOS app and install it. I have to go through the App Store. And that is where the monopoly lies.

It's also where the value of the platform is! Your asking for the biggest reason for iOS success to be changed just because you don't like it

Thankfully you aren't in charge. If you want a model where there is more choice, those platforms are out there. Apple is doing nothing active or passively to inhibit them - other than providing a more compelling experience.
post #37 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

Oh Apple has a clear monopoly in the mobile internet device market. Hands down, no doubt about it. Because a monopoly is merely a vast position of strength in a market.

Please don't try to define subjects you are clearly not versed in. They have a clear leadership position for mindshare and profit, but they are far from having a monopoly. Heck, they don't even have market share domination, which every other article in the tech press tries to emphasize as "winning" - so which is it?

Are they a monopolist or looser?
post #38 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by frdmfghtr View Post

By definition #3, Apple has a monopoly --exclusive control of something, namely distribution of iOS apps.

..for devices that have a minority of marketshare.

Yup, a clear monopoly

Quote:
That's where my comment came in, in that doing so is not an option.

So mobile Safari is just invisible when it comes to the "evil app store" arguments? Their web site suddenly and magically breaks too?

Quote:
Apple has a monopoly on iOS software distribution based on the definition of "monopoly."

No, they have total control over their platform. Use of the word "monopoly" is a weak attempt by people such as yourself to protest that a successful methodology other than one which you agree with is good.

Quote:
Maybe the monopoly discussion is a bit offtopic, but that's the part of the discussion I was addressing.

The entire concept is off topic and irrelevant.

Again, Apple's control over the platform is what makes it so valuable. If you don't like it, go pick one of the other platforms that follows a model you like. But stop trying to limit my choice or pretend you know what's best for me just because you don't like it
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