EU to charge Apple over anti-competitive App Store fees this week

Posted:
in General Discussion edited April 27
The European Union is expected to charge Apple over anticompetitive behavior allegations this week, almost two years after Spotify lodged its complaint with the European Commission about the App Store and Apple Music.




In 2019, Spotify wrote to the European Commission about the App Store's 30-percent commission for transactions. Spotify believed it put the company at a disadvantage as Apple Music wasn't affected by the same charge.

The complaint helped launch a probe by the European Commission in June 2020 into the App Store, one which may result in formal charges being placed against Apple in the near future. The Financial Times claims EU competition chief Margrethe Vestager will issue the charges later in the week.

The charges will apparently take Apple to task over the App Store's rules, which are said by people familiar with the announcement to have broken EU law.

At the time of the 2020 investigation's launch, Vestager proposed it seemed that Apple had created a "gatekeeper" role for itself regarding the "distribution of apps and content to users of Apple's popular devices."

The investigation into the App Store rules isn't the only activity the European Commission is looking into regarding Apple. At the same time as the App Store probe, another was launched to Apple Pay, over Apple's conditions on how it is used in apps and websites, as well as Apple's reserving of NFC-based transactions for its own service.




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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 26
    Unless the EU also investigate others doing the same thing Apple should bring their own action against the EU under their own anti-competitive laws 
    aderutterwilliamlondonbshankericthehalfbeewatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 26
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 5,764member
    Unless the EU also investigate others doing the same thing Apple should bring their own action against the EU under their own anti-competitive laws 
    The EU has little option but to look at a complaint, decide if it is worthy of investigation and act on the findings.

    xyzzy01
  • Reply 3 of 26
    While I believe Apple is 100% correct on their platform, the reality is the EU and soon the US isn’t going to allow then the rights to their own stuff. 
    beowulfschmidtwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 26
    PezaPeza Posts: 189member
    Well as this is the same EU who are going to sue AstraZeneca for not shipping its Covid vaccine on time, the one that they are refusing to actually use and have millions stockpiled in warehouses doing nothing, whilst they are locking down their countries.
    Then I won't pay much attention to what their legal systems do anymore, they are a total joke waste of space.
    bshankgeorgie01watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 26
    Spotify has been able to help the EU secure the official theme song of the European Commission:

    https://youtu.be/GXE_n2q08Yw
    bshankwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 26
    'Make Everything Windows Again' appears to be the battlecry. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 26
    aderutteraderutter Posts: 454member
    I now think it would be good for Apple to get ahead of this and state explicitly and loudly that developers are free to create web-apps and put them in their own web-app store - that these apps do not need to use Apple payment methods, have no Apple commission or require review by Apple or even an Apple developer account to create them. Apple is not preventing anyone creating web-app software to run on an iOS device - as this would be impossible.  
    williamlondonbshankgeorgie01ericthehalfbeewatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 26
    aderutter said:
    I now think it would be good for Apple to get ahead of this and state explicitly and loudly that developers are free to create web-apps and put them in their own web-app store - that these apps do not need to use Apple payment methods, have no Apple commission or require review by Apple or even an Apple developer account to create them. Apple is not preventing anyone creating web-app software to run on an iOS device - as this would be impossible.  

    This. Won’t be surprised if we see some developers do this. Or Apple could just throw Gatekeeper on iOS like the Mac has. 

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 26
    jd_in_sbjd_in_sb Posts: 1,589member
    Next will they sue Walmart for not allowing Target to install products and cash registers. 
    rob53watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 26
    rezwitsrezwits Posts: 727member
    Ah, so the EU doesn't really care about the fees (consumer), they just want to make sure they at least get a cut of action.  F#@k the EU!
    beowulfschmidtwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 26
    aderutter said:
    I now think it would be good for Apple to get ahead of this and state explicitly and loudly that developers are free to create web-apps and put them in their own web-app store - that these apps do not need to use Apple payment methods, have no Apple commission or require review by Apple or even an Apple developer account to create them. Apple is not preventing anyone creating web-app software to run on an iOS device - as this would be impossible.  

    Apple has been hindering web apps for years. The support for PWAs has been just added, most probably because of all anti-competitive law suits around the world.

    But Apple is still playing wrong, very wrong. The following is happening under iOS and it has been always this way:

    • Our company has been offering a web app with offline functionality (no PWA as it new to iOS, just offline functionality)
    • We had been wondering about the unexplainable bad performance when running the offline part of our web app under iOS while under any other platform it was performing good. Important to know: the offline part is heavily using JavaScript
    • 2 years ago, because a customer asked for it, we have implemented a wrapper app around our web app
    • All of sudden, the offline part was running faster: extremely easy to observe, maybe by 90% faster, just as expected and observed under Windows and Android
    • I just checked it again under iOS 14.2.2 and the same:
      • The web app running in Safari noticeably slower than the same app running in the wrapper app
    • Just to be clear: Safari is slowing down offlineable web apps intentionally

    I have simply no resources and time for suing Apple, but this is simply another prove for the anti-competitive behaviour of Apple.

    If anyone from Epic or Spotify or any other company is reading this: just try that out yourself and you’ll get new proof for Apple’s anti-competitive behaviour. It is all about forcing everyone into AppStore.


    cropr
  • Reply 12 of 26
    sreesree Posts: 138member
    Apple has every right to completely remove the app store and sell a phone with only apple created apps. Nobody stops apple from doing that.

    But since they have created an app store where third parties can sell their ware, they have a legal obligation to maintain a fair market. They can't have their cake (by getting all the third party app ecosystem) and eat it too (by using anti-competitive measures against these third party developers). Remember, the legal suits and complaints are by these third party developers and not by the government. They have every legal right to expect a free and fair market and to sue when they don't get it. 

    It is not too much to ask that every apple app also pass through the same gates that third party apps pass through.
    Apple apps should have access to the same capabilities that third party apps do.  (Otherwise how is it different from IE and Netscape?)
    avon b7muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 13 of 26
    sree said:
    Apple has every right to completely remove the app store and sell a phone with only apple created apps. Nobody stops apple from doing that.

    But since they have created an app store where third parties can sell their ware, they have a legal obligation to maintain a fair market. They can't have their cake (by getting all the third party app ecosystem) and eat it too (by using anti-competitive measures against these third party developers). Remember, the legal suits and complaints are by these third party developers and not by the government. They have every legal right to expect a free and fair market and to sue when they don't get it. 

    It is not too much to ask that every apple app also pass through the same gates that third party apps pass through.
    Apple apps should have access to the same capabilities that third party apps do.  (Otherwise how is it different from IE and Netscape?)
    So does a brick and mortar store that sells their own generic brand for cheaper have to allow their competitors to sell their generic brands in its store? Of course not. Apple creates the hardware, software, OS and everything these developers use. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 26
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 5,764member
    sree said:
    Apple has every right to completely remove the app store and sell a phone with only apple created apps. Nobody stops apple from doing that.

    But since they have created an app store where third parties can sell their ware, they have a legal obligation to maintain a fair market. They can't have their cake (by getting all the third party app ecosystem) and eat it too (by using anti-competitive measures against these third party developers). Remember, the legal suits and complaints are by these third party developers and not by the government. They have every legal right to expect a free and fair market and to sue when they don't get it. 

    It is not too much to ask that every apple app also pass through the same gates that third party apps pass through.
    Apple apps should have access to the same capabilities that third party apps do.  (Otherwise how is it different from IE and Netscape?)
    So does a brick and mortar store that sells their own generic brand for cheaper have to allow their competitors to sell their generic brands in its store? Of course not. Apple creates the hardware, software, OS and everything these developers use. 
    This is said time and time again and it is incorrect.

    The problem is when that 'brick and mortar store' owns the entire commerce platform and prevents other stores from even existing on it.


  • Reply 15 of 26
    genovellegenovelle Posts: 1,176member
    JBSlough said:
    aderutter said:
    I now think it would be good for Apple to get ahead of this and state explicitly and loudly that developers are free to create web-apps and put them in their own web-app store - that these apps do not need to use Apple payment methods, have no Apple commission or require review by Apple or even an Apple developer account to create them. Apple is not preventing anyone creating web-app software to run on an iOS device - as this would be impossible.  

    This. Won’t be surprised if we see some developers do this. Or Apple could just throw Gatekeeper on iOS like the Mac has. 
    All of the original 3rd party Apps were and there are quite a few already. In fact Microsoft’s xcloud gaming platform does just that. Apple doesn’t care because it does not use their resources. 

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 26
    avon b7 said: The problem is when that 'brick and mortar store' owns the entire commerce platform and prevents other stores from even existing on it.
    Apple doesn't own the entire mobile platform. They own the mobile devices that they manufacture. Think about how many different devices allow consumers to place mobile phone calls or use wireless networks. It's not even limited to smartphones. They sell laptops with wireless support, right? And who owns the actual wireless networks that are being used? Not Apple. 
    edited April 28 watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 26
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 5,764member
    avon b7 said: The problem is when that 'brick and mortar store' owns the entire commerce platform and prevents other stores from even existing on it.
    Apple doesn't own the entire mobile platform. They own the mobile devices that they manufacture. Think about how many different devices allow consumers to place mobile phone calls or use wireless networks. It's not even limited to smartphones. They sell laptops with wireless support, right? And who owns the actual wireless networks that are being used? Not Apple. 
    The platform is the Apple hardware platform and Apple acts as the gatekeeper to everything on it.

    The analogy to brick and mortar stores breaks down right there. You can freely move from one brick and mortar store to another and no direct cost to you nobody is impeding your access to other stores.

    Wireless networks which are subject to standardisation and direct government regulation are irrelevant here. 
  • Reply 18 of 26
    croprcropr Posts: 1,046member
    aderutter said:
    I now think it would be good for Apple to get ahead of this and state explicitly and loudly that developers are free to create web-apps and put them in their own web-app store - that these apps do not need to use Apple payment methods, have no Apple commission or require review by Apple or even an Apple developer account to create them. Apple is not preventing anyone creating web-app software to run on an iOS device - as this would be impossible.  
    That is what I, as an developer, am doing.  I am moving my apps into Progressive Web Apps as much as I can.  But nevertheless not all apps fit the PWA approach
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 19 of 26
    nicholfdnicholfd Posts: 580member
    FoodLover said:
    aderutter said:
    I now think it would be good for Apple to get ahead of this and state explicitly and loudly that developers are free to create web-apps and put them in their own web-app store - that these apps do not need to use Apple payment methods, have no Apple commission or require review by Apple or even an Apple developer account to create them. Apple is not preventing anyone creating web-app software to run on an iOS device - as this would be impossible.  

    Apple has been hindering web apps for years. The support for PWAs has been just added, most probably because of all anti-competitive law suits around the world.

    But Apple is still playing wrong, very wrong. The following is happening under iOS and it has been always this way:

    • Our company has been offering a web app with offline functionality (no PWA as it new to iOS, just offline functionality)
    • We had been wondering about the unexplainable bad performance when running the offline part of our web app under iOS while under any other platform it was performing good. Important to know: the offline part is heavily using JavaScript
    • 2 years ago, because a customer asked for it, we have implemented a wrapper app around our web app
    • All of sudden, the offline part was running faster: extremely easy to observe, maybe by 90% faster, just as expected and observed under Windows and Android
    • I just checked it again under iOS 14.2.2 and the same:
      • The web app running in Safari noticeably slower than the same app running in the wrapper app
    • Just to be clear: Safari is slowing down offlineable web apps intentionally

    I have simply no resources and time for suing Apple, but this is simply another prove for the anti-competitive behaviour of Apple.

    If anyone from Epic or Spotify or any other company is reading this: just try that out yourself and you’ll get new proof for Apple’s anti-competitive behaviour. It is all about forcing everyone into AppStore.


    You really believe this?  Isn't it more likely that you just developed a shitty web app that doesn't know how to play nice in a browser session?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 26
    nicholfdnicholfd Posts: 580member
    sree said:
    Apple has every right to completely remove the app store and sell a phone with only apple created apps. Nobody stops apple from doing that.

    But since they have created an app store where third parties can sell their ware, they have a legal obligation to maintain a fair market. They can't have their cake (by getting all the third party app ecosystem) and eat it too (by using anti-competitive measures against these third party developers). Remember, the legal suits and complaints are by these third party developers and not by the government. They have every legal right to expect a free and fair market and to sue when they don't get it. 

    It is not too much to ask that every apple app also pass through the same gates that third party apps pass through.
    Apple apps should have access to the same capabilities that third party apps do.  (Otherwise how is it different from IE and Netscape?)
    Apple has ZERO obligation to host anyone's app.  It's Apple's App Store.  Just like Target is not required to carry Walmart's "Greater Value" brand, and is not required to allow Walmart to setup a store within the Target store, to directly sell their "Greater Value" branded items.

    They do.
    And they do.
    Do you have any evidence otherwise?
    watto_cobra
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