Epic CEO will fight Apple to the bitter end over App Store control

Posted:
in General Discussion edited December 2022
Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney has vowed to continue the battle against Apple's App Store fees, and won't stop until he forces Tim Cook to allow iPhone and iPad app distribution outside of the app store.

Credit: Epic Games
Credit: Epic Games


In a new interview with The Verge, Epic CEO Tim Sweeney explains why he believes Apple and Google have too much control over the internet.

Epic has long been critical of Apple, with Sweeney claiming that Apple's 30% App Store tax is an "absolute monopoly."

In the interview, Sweeney compares Apple's control of the App Store to railroad monopolies in the past.

"Yes, Apple built the iPhone hardware and they designed iOS, and they deserve to earn a fantastic return by selling their devices with their operating system, as did the railroads deserve to earn a fantastic return by profiting from selling railroad tickets and transportation services," he tells The Verge.

"But what they cannot do under the law, and under any principle of fair competition, is Apple cannot use its control over the hardware and operating system to impose trade restraints on related markets," he continues. "Apple prevents other companies from establishing competing stores on iOS. That's similar to the railroads blocking the oil refineries from shipping their products on the railroad in order to take over those related industries."

He worries that Apple's monopoly is "strangling the digital economy," not just for the app market, but for the music and TV market as well.

Epic's own ongoing fight with Apple kicked off in 2020, when Epic allowed Fortnite players to purchase V-bucks directly, rather than using Apple's payment system.

Unsurprisingly, Apple responded by pulling Fortnite from the App Store.

Apple has argued that its commission fee goes to maintaining the App Store's high standards and protecting users from being fraudulently charged by developers.

The 30% commission fee, which Apple has lowered to 15% for developers making less than $1 million in net annual sales on its platform and for subscriptions that run over a year, is industry standard.

But it isn't just money that Sweeney is worried about. He also argues that by requiring users to get apps exclusively from the App Store, Apple limits the free speech of both developers and users.

"I think it's incredibly dangerous to allow the world's most powerful corporation to decide who is allowed to say what," says Sweeney. He warns that it's something every politician should fear.

Sweeney is referencing Twitter CEO Elon Musk's allegations that Apple was planning to pull Twitter from the App Store. However, Musk has since walked back that stance, having now publicly said that Apple never considered removing the app.

Sweeney explains that he wants to see app distribution opened up, allowing customers to download apps directly from developers' websites. He also wants to ensure that Apple cannot earn a commission from any revenue generated by apps after the initial purchase price from the App Store.

"[W]hat we're asking for is how this should have been, how the iPhone should have been established when it was first released," Sweeney said. "That is how all platforms, all general computing platforms, should operate. It's how Windows operates, it's how macOS operates, and this should just be an established foundational piece."

Prior to Apple's App Store for iPhone, most software was sold in retail stores, often with a fraction well less than 30% paid out to the developer. Obviously, the retail landscape has changed since then -- but mostly because platforms like the App Store and Steam changed it.

"And so Epic is not conducting any sort of elaborate negotiation here. We are simply going to fight as long as it takes to get to what we're asking for," exclaimed Sweeney. "And if Apple would settle for that, we would settle it today."

Sweeney has made it clear that he'll fight Apple all the way to the Supreme Court, if need be, to achieve victory at any cost. He notes that the process is "painful and expensive," but also "absolutely necessary."

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 93
    MadbumMadbum Posts: 435member
    Many don’t know this,Tim Sweeney and Epic is largely owned by Tencent China, a Chinese communist controlled company 

    So this is Chinese communists vs an American company that just came up technology to save people trapped in the wild without mobile service

    chinese Communist controlled Epic games… let that sink in






    darbus69Rhythmageskippingrockracerhomie3watto_cobrared oakpulseimagesBart YravnorodomCluntBaby92
  • Reply 3 of 93
    That guy sweeney is a clown. He won’t win against apple.
    JaiOh81racerhomie3watto_cobraBart YCluntBaby92uraharatdknoxwilliamlondonzeus423
  • Reply 4 of 93
    How am I supposed to be able to get 90% of the profits if Apple insists on getting 30%?
    watto_cobraBart YJinTechFileMakerFellerJaiOh81uraharatenthousandthingstdknoxzeus423
  • Reply 5 of 93
    XedXed Posts: 1,594member
    Boo to the fucking hoo.
    JaiOh81KTRwatto_cobrawilliamlondonzeus423
  • Reply 6 of 93
    I41 try not entrust my info to anyone besides Apple. How can a sellout company like Epic bitch about 30 cents OR LESS on a dollar, which i believe is fair exchange for making gaming companies billions of dollars for encouraging people to sit on their asses and be unhealthy, which in turn costs our health care system billions of dollars and shortens and downgrades quality of life. Maybe Sweeney should be forced to go live somewhere he can’t just sit on his fat ass and check his bank account every 15 minutes…
    watto_cobramontrosemacsBart YradarthekatRonnyDaddy
  • Reply 7 of 93
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 2,580member
    Will Apple eventually have to allow alt AppStores? I wouldn’t be surprised. There seems to be a good deal of sentiment for that in political circles. 
    Will EPIC and Sweeney be the ones to do it? I seriously doubt it. Apple has deeper pockets, and EPIC has a weak case. More likely EPIC ends up losing money, and gets bought out by someone who quietly settles. 
    watto_cobraBart Y
  • Reply 8 of 93
    Sweeney is welcome to develop his own hardware and OS. If he doesn’t like Apple he can pull his games and go home. There are plenty of gaming platforms out there. 
    He is asking for special treatment for his company, do not see that as fair or happening.
    Maybe he can give Apple the 🖕🏼and team up with Zuckerberg to control the metaverse, they could use a partner about now, Meta is shedding stock value and software engineers like dandruff from Trumps combover.
    Got to say, ai have little sympathy for whining billionaires.
    JaiOh81racerhomie3watto_cobramontrosemacsrob53Bart Yravnorodomdewmestrongyradarthekat
  • Reply 9 of 93
    jblongzjblongz Posts: 157member
    II don't agree with the way Epic Games started this, but I do feel their sentiment.  Taking 30% of someone's business in order to sell on their platform is like doing the same in order to make a MacOS or Windows 11 app.  It does seem unfair.
    JaiOh81williamlondonelijahg
  • Reply 10 of 93
    MadbumMadbum Posts: 435member
    Rhythmage said:
    That guy sweeney is a clown. He won’t win against apple.
    He is more than a clown, he and his company works for the Chinese communists, owned 49 percent by China state media company Tencent 
    Bart Yravnorodomwatto_cobraCluntBaby92zeus423
  • Reply 11 of 93
    MadbumMadbum Posts: 435member
    jblongz said:
    II don't agree with the way Epic Games started this, but I do feel their sentiment.  Taking 30% of someone's business in order to sell on their platform is like doing the same in order to make a MacOS or Windows 11 app.  It does seem unfair.
    How about you try to walk into Costco and sell some of your stuff and see what they say?
    racerhomie3Bart Ymacsince1988JaiOh81ravnorodomwatto_cobramdwuraharawilliamlondonzeus423
  • Reply 12 of 93
    MadbumMadbum Posts: 435member
    jblongz said:
    II don't agree with the way Epic Games started this, but I do feel their sentiment.  Taking 30% of someone's business in order to sell on their platform is like doing the same in order to make a MacOS or Windows 11 app.  It does seem unfair.
    Sweeney and his company is owned by the Chinese communists.
    racerhomie3watto_cobraCluntBaby92williamlondonzeus423
  • Reply 13 of 93
    XedXed Posts: 1,594member
    jblongz said:
    II don't agree with the way Epic Games started this, but I do feel their sentiment.  Taking 30% of someone's business in order to sell on their platform is like doing the same in order to make a MacOS or Windows 11 app.  It does seem unfair.
    I understand that you think it's unfair, but why do you think Sweeney hasn't taken issue with other app stores that take as much or more to create tools and host a platform for game distribution?
    edited December 2022 racerhomie3FileMakerFellerJaiOh81watto_cobramdwradarthekattdknoxwilliamlondonelijahg
  • Reply 14 of 93
    MadbumMadbum Posts: 435member
    hmlongco said:
    How am I supposed to be able to get 90% of the profits if Apple insists on getting 30%?
    Is apple
    forcing him to sell on the App Store with a gun? Sweeney can sell on the web, his own store, but he wants to use Apples store at his price.

    any of you try walking into home depot
    and try to sell your stuff there lately? You tell them the rules and see what haplens


    thtracerhomie3Bart Y9secondkox2JaiOh81watto_cobramdwstrongyradarthekatzeus423
  • Reply 15 of 93
    XedXed Posts: 1,594member
    Madbum said:
    jblongz said:
    II don't agree with the way Epic Games started this, but I do feel their sentiment.  Taking 30% of someone's business in order to sell on their platform is like doing the same in order to make a MacOS or Windows 11 app.  It does seem unfair.
    Sweeney and his company is owned by the Chinese communists.
    The Chinese communists argument has been stated 3x already and two of them were by you. We get it.
    9secondkox2ravnorodomelijahg
  • Reply 16 of 93
    Isn’t it more like Railroad companies blocking competitors from driving their own trains and selling tickets on the Railroad companies tracks? That being said I kinda wish Epic would give up, I wanna play Fortnite again. 
    Bart YFileMakerFellerravnorodomJaiOh81uraharatdknox
  • Reply 17 of 93
    MadbumMadbum Posts: 435member
    Xed said:
    Madbum said:
    jblongz said:
    II don't agree with the way Epic Games started this, but I do feel their sentiment.  Taking 30% of someone's business in order to sell on their platform is like doing the same in order to make a MacOS or Windows 11 app.  It does seem unfair.
    Sweeney and his company is owned by the Chinese communists.
    The Chinese communists argument has been stated 3x already and two of them were by you. We get it.
    Don’t you think this is a big deal. I mean people were all over Apple for Foxconn and Foxconn isn’t even owned by Chinese communists! Epic games is!
    Bart Y9secondkox2watto_cobraCluntBaby92
  • Reply 18 of 93
    MadbumMadbum Posts: 435member
    Isn’t it more like Railroad companies blocking competitors from driving their own trains and selling tickets on the Railroad companies tracks? That being said I kinda wish Epic would give up, I wanna play Fortnite again. 
    Well if the railroads were built and owned privately by railroad company A, why would they need to let rail company B use it for free or dictate any rules?
    FileMakerFellerravnorodomwatto_cobrauraharazeus423
  • Reply 19 of 93
    I’m not quite sure how his refinery example has any sort of relevance. What exactly is the new trade and innovation he’s talking about? There is none. The point is he sells in-app widgets and wants a) 90% or more or the profits and b) no oversight from Apple which can no longer protect the user from nefarious actors. All that for what? Apple taking 30% stifles innovation but 10% would not? And what is it they’re selling exactly, anyway? Oh, that’s right, NOTHING. The nerve on this a.hole. 
    thtmontrosemacsBart YFileMakerFellerravnorodomwatto_cobraroundaboutnowkillroy
  • Reply 20 of 93
    This idiot should blow all his money on this. I will be happy when he is penniless and miserable 
    pulseimagesBart YJaiOh81ravnorodomzeus423killroy
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