'Sham' settlement offer not appeasing Coalition for App Fairness

Posted:
in iOS
Developer consortium Coalition for App Fairness calls Apple's new App Store changes a "sham," and says it "does nothing" to address its members' concerns.

The Coalition for App Fairness wants to take on App Store policies
The Coalition for App Fairness believes Apple's new settlement is a "sham"


Apple has now settled an App Store lawsuit by creating a $100 million fund for developers, and allowing companies more direct access to their users. However, the Coalition for App Fairness says that the move is not the concession its members need.

"Apple's sham settlement offer is nothing more than a desperate attempt to avoid the judgment of courts, regulators, and legislators worldwide," said the organization in a statement emailed to AppleInsider.

"This offer does nothing to address the structural, foundational problems facing all developers, large and small, undermining innovation and competition in the app ecosystem," it continues. "Allowing developers to communicate with their customers about lower prices outside of their apps is not a concession and further highlights Apple's total control over the app marketplace."

"If this settlement is approved, app makers will still be barred from communicating about lower prices or offering competing payment options within their apps," says the statement. "We will not be appeased by empty gestures and will continue our fight for fair and open digital platforms."

The issue of direct communication between app developer and user has long been an issue in part because it means software makers get only limited information about who is buying their apps. It has also meant that developers could not use their apps to inform a user of offers or alternative ways to use the app outside the app store.

Now as part of the settlement, Apple has agreed to allow developers to email customers to discuss alternative payment methods. They are still not allowed to promote such offers within their apps, however.

The Coalition for App Fairness was started in September 2020 by companies including Epic Games. but now claims to have in excess of 60 member firms.

Separately, the Coalition has been fighting three subpoenas from Apple, which requested access to internal communications within those members.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 20
    genovellegenovelle Posts: 1,296member
    I guess these people miss the point. Apple has total control over their store, because it is THIER Store. Build the store you make the rules. Apple can’t dictate how Walmart runs even though they sell Apple stuff. The store doesn’t make sense if it doesn’t make money and would become a liability and no longer an asset. Apple is tolerating this situation because there are far more appreciative developers than greedy whiners and understand that many depend on Apple to maintain the store. 

    Maybe Apple should develop a second store that is WebApp based does not use their APIs and allows everything they want. No promotion from Apple. no access to Apple’s payment system or other support. Developers would choose which type of account they prefer and that’s that
    ikirsdw2001rob53agilealtitudemagman1979docbburkwatto_cobrajony0Detnator
  • Reply 2 of 20
    ikirikir Posts: 126member
    Cry bay Sweeney
    magman1979watto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 3 of 20
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 5,956member
    genovelle said:
    I guess these people miss the point. Apple has total control over their store, because it is THIER Store. Build the store you make the rules. Apple can’t dictate how Walmart runs even though they sell Apple stuff. The store doesn’t make sense if it doesn’t make money and would become a liability and no longer an asset. Apple is tolerating this situation because there are far more appreciative developers than greedy whiners and understand that many depend on Apple to maintain the store. 

    Maybe Apple should develop a second store that is WebApp based does not use their APIs and allows everything they want. No promotion from Apple. no access to Apple’s payment system or other support. Developers would choose which type of account they prefer and that’s that
    These people aren't missing the point. Their point seems to have strong legal legs right now.

    We will have to wait and see which way regulators ultimately swing but if Apple is making concessions in the face of all the complaints, I'd say even Apple itself isn't quite so sure of its case.

    Walmart has no place in any reasonable analogy. For that to be, Walmart would have to be the only store that existed and be able to prevent other stores from existing/ competing. 
  • Reply 4 of 20
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,738member
    It’s just a front for epic games and their nonsense.  They are actually advocating that Apple is forced to allow developers to bypass the system that they created. Moreover, many of these developers would not even exist without that system. 

    I certainly don’t think Apple does everything correctly, but in this case they should play hardball. Retract the settlement and tell them to piss off.  
    magman1979yojimbo007watto_cobrajony0Detnator
  • Reply 5 of 20
    The Coalition for App Fairness was started in September 2020 by companies including Epic Games. but now claims to have in excess of 60 member firms.

    Separately, the Coalition has been fighting three subpoenas from Apple, which requested access to internal communications within those members.
    Apple should have the membership roster and a chance to subpoena communications - one of the tenets of judicial system is the right to face your accusers.

    If as it appears this is Epic's attempt to foment bad press among those who believe they have an absolute right to Apple's playground at no cost, that should be part of the public record. That the member organizations sneak around and use this umbrella organization to snipe from cover is pretty cowardly and reprehensible.
    magman1979Dogpersonwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 6 of 20
    genovelle said:
    I guess these people miss the point. Apple has total control over their store, because it is THIER Store. Build the store you make the rules. Apple can’t dictate how Walmart runs even though they sell Apple stuff. The store doesn’t make sense if it doesn’t make money and would become a liability and no longer an asset. Apple is tolerating this situation because there are far more appreciative developers than greedy whiners and understand that many depend on Apple to maintain the store. 

    Maybe Apple should develop a second store that is WebApp based does not use their APIs and allows everything they want. No promotion from Apple. no access to Apple’s payment system or other support. Developers would choose which type of account they prefer and that’s that
    👍
    magman1979watto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 7 of 20
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,300member
    M.J. Sieglers take...
    https://500ish.com/thank-you-apple-may-we-have-another-115b91ad1773

    "It would be great if Apple would just tell it like it is. Not the watered-down PR-speak that exactly zero people are fooled by. We’re all adults here. We get that there’s nuance. That every story has two sides. Sometimes more. Just give it to us straight..."Instead, we get this.


    and Philip Elmer-Dewitt's
    https://www.ped30.com/2021/08/27/apple-lifts-gag-order/
    "Now that wasn’t so hard, was it? My take: Apple drives a hard bargain. It has to get dragged into court — kicking and screaming — to do the right thing. As Ben Thompson wrote last May…

    The fact that apps [couldn’t] even tell you that they have a website is what prompted Senator Blumenthal’s observation that Apple and Google were in Congress to “defend the patently indefensible.”


    Some long-time hardcore Apple promoters and fans somewhat agree with Epic's comments.
    edited August 27 muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 8 of 20
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 1,808member
    The CAF won't be happy until Apple charges no commission on sales and gives each buyer a free iPhone to play the games on. 
    agilealtitudewilliamlondonmagman1979thtdocbburkDogpersonwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 9 of 20
    Nobody is forcing these companies to make apps for Apple. If they don’t want to play by Apple’s rules, pick up shop and go somewhere else. 
    agilealtitudewilliamlondonmagman1979thtwatto_cobrajony0Detnator
  • Reply 10 of 20
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 5,956member
    jgarciaii said:
    Nobody is forcing these companies to make apps for Apple. If they don’t want to play by Apple’s rules, pick up shop and go somewhere else. 
    Apple has to play by rules, too.

    If they are playing by those rules, they won't have anything to worry about, will they?

    How are you reading between the lines of recent Apple moves?

    From my perspective, it looks like Apple isn't completely convinced about how things will play out, hence these 'concessions'. 
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 11 of 20
    Every process needs to be evaluated from time to time to improve. Most companies go through that. Change should be embraced. 
    Detnator
  • Reply 12 of 20
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,718member
    gatorguy said:
    M.J. Sieglers take...
    https://500ish.com/thank-you-apple-may-we-have-another-115b91ad1773

    "It would be great if Apple would just tell it like it is. Not the watered-down PR-speak that exactly zero people are fooled by. We’re all adults here. We get that there’s nuance. That every story has two sides. Sometimes more. Just give it to us straight..."Instead, we get this.


    and Philip Elmer-Dewitt's
    https://www.ped30.com/2021/08/27/apple-lifts-gag-order/
    "Now that wasn’t so hard, was it? My take: Apple drives a hard bargain. It has to get dragged into court — kicking and screaming — to do the right thing. As Ben Thompson wrote last May…

    The fact that apps [couldn’t] even tell you that they have a website is what prompted Senator Blumenthal’s observation that Apple and Google were in Congress to “defend the patently indefensible.”


    Some long-time hardcore Apple promoters and fans somewhat agree with Epic's comments.
    @gatorguy I can agree with what you're saying, I was surprised Apple even did this. They must be getting tons of pressure from money-grabbing politicians so they had to do something.

    As for fans, I'd like to see a Coalition for Consumer Fairness. I bet this group would have a whole lot more people in it than "some" long-time hardcore Apple promoters and fans. Consumers are the ones who pay for apps, not developers or promoters (yes, both buy apps but there are far more consumers than developers and promoters). Anyone who's had to work on a family member's computer (of any kind) knows the simpler the better. Make everything as easy as possible so there's fewer ways to mess things up (for you and me). Too many choices has always been a problem for the majority of consumers. Adding more payment possibilities only causes more problems, it doesn't help consumers but of course why help the people buying things actually buy them. We've got to pacify the companies with deep pockets and big mouths.

    When I go into a store that only takes cash, I pay cash. Is anyone demanding they take credit cards? Why not? That's restricting our ability to use whatever payment process we want to use. This is the same as Apple only allowing payments through their payment method. If we're going to go after Apple then we need to go after every place of commerce who restricts the type of payment we want to use. Yes, that's silly and stupid but it is the same thing. Costco only allows MasterCard not Visa (plus cash) and I'm not seeing any politician go after them. Apple should be able to run their business the same way these comanies are running theirs.

    As for legal things, rarely have consumers benefitted from laws meant to protect them. Even the joke Microsoft monopoly trial didn't really change anything. The only people who benefit from most of these legal moves are lawyers, stock holders and politicians by way of legal bribes/donations.

    AI, why don't you hold a poll on whether we feel Apple should be allowed to keep the App Store as is? Of course it will be slanted towards more technical people because AI is not a silly website but it could show how more or less technical people feel about the subject. 
    applguyHedwarekurai_kagemagman1979watto_cobrajony0Detnator
  • Reply 13 of 20
    dewmedewme Posts: 3,935member
    avon b7 said:
    genovelle said:
    I guess these people miss the point. Apple has total control over their store, because it is THIER Store. Build the store you make the rules. Apple can’t dictate how Walmart runs even though they sell Apple stuff. The store doesn’t make sense if it doesn’t make money and would become a liability and no longer an asset. Apple is tolerating this situation because there are far more appreciative developers than greedy whiners and understand that many depend on Apple to maintain the store. 

    Maybe Apple should develop a second store that is WebApp based does not use their APIs and allows everything they want. No promotion from Apple. no access to Apple’s payment system or other support. Developers would choose which type of account they prefer and that’s that
    These people aren't missing the point. Their point seems to have strong legal legs right now.

    We will have to wait and see which way regulators ultimately swing but if Apple is making concessions in the face of all the complaints, I'd say even Apple itself isn't quite so sure of its case.

    Walmart has no place in any reasonable analogy. For that to be, Walmart would have to be the only store that existed and be able to prevent other stores from existing/ competing. 

    I have to disagree in large part on your last point. Apple is doing nothing to prevent other stores that are based on alternative totally integrated hardware-software platforms from existing. There is nothing preventing anyone from creating a competitive line of products to Apple's iOS and iPadOS products. Nothing. This would be like saying that Ford is preventing any other automobile companies and automotive parts suppliers to exist. Anyone can build a car just as much as anyone can build a phone or tablet.

    The fact that nobody is even trying to build a phone that competes against Apple's small or Android's giant ecosystems isn't Apple's or any of the Android maker's problem. Imagine if nobody even tried to compete against Ford, we'd still be driving Model Ts.

    Amazon could easily launch a line of mobile devices that included, say a Fire Phone with a Fire Phone app store that's tied to Amazon's massive marketplace. They started down this path, but failed miserably, threw in the towel, and closed up shop. Nobody else has stepped up, well, other than stepping up to hire lawyers and lobby for political support. It's just laziness and giving-up on a massive scale. So much for entrepreneurial spirit driving innovation.
    kurai_kagemagman1979thtmacpluspluswatto_cobrajony0Detnator
  • Reply 14 of 20
    crowleycrowley Posts: 9,082member
    As I said in the other thread, it seems like Apple hardly gave anything away, most of the deal was just keeping what's already in place.  So its hardly surprising that the deal isn't popular with people who want Apple to do more.
  • Reply 15 of 20
    dewmedewme Posts: 3,935member
    crowley said:
    As I said in the other thread, it seems like Apple hardly gave anything away, most of the deal was just keeping what's already in place.  So its hardly surprising that the deal isn't popular with people who want Apple to do more.
    Yup. Most people also have very little understanding of the massive non recurring costs that are involved in creating systems with the functional magnitude, scalability, and resiliency of the App Store. The ongoing maintenance, consumable resource, labor, and upkeep costs are a small percentage of the total cost involved with just getting the very first app up for sale and download on day one.

    At the end of the day nothing is going to stop the back and forth bickering about this any more than any of the other topics that have entrenched and immovable opinions on both sides. 
    watto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 16 of 20
    avon b7 said:
    genovelle said:
    I guess these people miss the point. Apple has total control over their store, because it is THIER Store. Build the store you make the rules. Apple can’t dictate how Walmart runs even though they sell Apple stuff. The store doesn’t make sense if it doesn’t make money and would become a liability and no longer an asset. Apple is tolerating this situation because there are far more appreciative developers than greedy whiners and understand that many depend on Apple to maintain the store. 

    Maybe Apple should develop a second store that is WebApp based does not use their APIs and allows everything they want. No promotion from Apple. no access to Apple’s payment system or other support. Developers would choose which type of account they prefer and that’s that
    These people aren't missing the point. Their point seems to have strong legal legs right now.

    We will have to wait and see which way regulators ultimately swing but if Apple is making concessions in the face of all the complaints, I'd say even Apple itself isn't quite so sure of its case.

    Walmart has no place in any reasonable analogy. For that to be, Walmart would have to be the only store that existed and be able to prevent other stores from existing/ competing. 
    I guess Tizen, Android, and Amazon’s splinter android OS app stores don’t count?  Apple controlling the ap store they built and protecting us from many extra risks of scams and having our credit card info stolen from other servers by having the payments be through apple.  I trust apple with my payment info more than I do any developer, even if it costs a little more.  From what I read, most customers feel the same way.  

    Epic is stirring up a commotion to try to get easily swayed law makers to take this and run with it to show they are Tech savvy and an up and comer.  Taking that bait, proves the exact opposite.  I think Apple is making this settlement more to cut off the politicians from acting like they are fighting the little guy, since this settlement helps them, and falls short of Epic’s desire to be allowed to set up their lemonade store in apples store, and sell some of the same apps apple sells there as well, without paying anything.  Epic also wants to collect 30% from anyone that has a game in their store.  Epic is whittling away on the last leg they are trying to stand on when it comes to their fight.  The facts show that it is all a big scheme by epic to try to not pay fees to be in the ap store, and be allowed to have their own ap store for the iPhone where they would charge others the same amount apple charges them, (but it wouldn’t be wrong if Epic charged the 30%, only if Apple does).  Epic is talking out of both ends.  Lets not forget how they prey on children tempting them to buy loot crates.  I wouldn’t doubt that part of this plan is to also get out from under protections Apple has in place to prevent some of their predatory tactics towards children gamers.  

    watto_cobraDetnator
  • Reply 17 of 20
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 1,683member
    In summary they want my credit card details so they can sell my activity to the global marketplace. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 20
    j2fusionj2fusion Posts: 143member
    avon b7 said:
    genovelle said:
    I guess these people miss the point. Apple has total control over their store, because it is THIER Store. Build the store you make the rules. Apple can’t dictate how Walmart runs even though they sell Apple stuff. The store doesn’t make sense if it doesn’t make money and would become a liability and no longer an asset. Apple is tolerating this situation because there are far more appreciative developers than greedy whiners and understand that many depend on Apple to maintain the store. 

    Maybe Apple should develop a second store that is WebApp based does not use their APIs and allows everything they want. No promotion from Apple. no access to Apple’s payment system or other support. Developers would choose which type of account they prefer and that’s that
    These people aren't missing the point. Their point seems to have strong legal legs right now.

    We will have to wait and see which way regulators ultimately swing but if Apple is making concessions in the face of all the complaints, I'd say even Apple itself isn't quite so sure of its case.

    Walmart has no place in any reasonable analogy. For that to be, Walmart would have to be the only store that existed and be able to prevent other stores from existing/ competing. 
    The Walmart analogy holds true as Apple is not the only store. The other store is called Google Play.  People have voted with their wallets and are content with the single App Store run by Apple. Other than a few techies, have you heard any complaints from Jane/Joe Average about the App Store?
    watto_cobraDetnator
  • Reply 19 of 20
    I wonder what all the members of the Class feel about it?  Who really cares about Epic and the big boys cries.  The majority of fhe Class, and especially the little guys are who I want to hear from 
    Dogpersonwatto_cobraDetnator
  • Reply 20 of 20
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 5,956member
    dewme said:
    avon b7 said:
    genovelle said:
    I guess these people miss the point. Apple has total control over their store, because it is THIER Store. Build the store you make the rules. Apple can’t dictate how Walmart runs even though they sell Apple stuff. The store doesn’t make sense if it doesn’t make money and would become a liability and no longer an asset. Apple is tolerating this situation because there are far more appreciative developers than greedy whiners and understand that many depend on Apple to maintain the store. 

    Maybe Apple should develop a second store that is WebApp based does not use their APIs and allows everything they want. No promotion from Apple. no access to Apple’s payment system or other support. Developers would choose which type of account they prefer and that’s that
    These people aren't missing the point. Their point seems to have strong legal legs right now.

    We will have to wait and see which way regulators ultimately swing but if Apple is making concessions in the face of all the complaints, I'd say even Apple itself isn't quite so sure of its case.

    Walmart has no place in any reasonable analogy. For that to be, Walmart would have to be the only store that existed and be able to prevent other stores from existing/ competing. 

    I have to disagree in large part on your last point. Apple is doing nothing to prevent other stores that are based on alternative totally integrated hardware-software platforms from existing. There is nothing preventing anyone from creating a competitive line of products to Apple's iOS and iPadOS products. Nothing. This would be like saying that Ford is preventing any other automobile companies and automotive parts suppliers to exist. Anyone can build a car just as much as anyone can build a phone or tablet.

    The fact that nobody is even trying to build a phone that competes against Apple's small or Android's giant ecosystems isn't Apple's or any of the Android maker's problem. Imagine if nobody even tried to compete against Ford, we'd still be driving Model Ts.

    Amazon could easily launch a line of mobile devices that included, say a Fire Phone with a Fire Phone app store that's tied to Amazon's massive marketplace. They started down this path, but failed miserably, threw in the towel, and closed up shop. Nobody else has stepped up, well, other than stepping up to hire lawyers and lobby for political support. It's just laziness and giving-up on a massive scale. So much for entrepreneurial spirit driving innovation.
    You are right in that Apple isn't interfering with other hardware platforms. However, Apple is interfering with competition on its own platform. Outright banning it where it sees fit. 

    If the platform were completely encapsulated this probably wouldn't be a problem. That isn't the case though. The platform absolutely depends on outside trade to exist. The second you stick a toe outside the realm of your platform and interact with the outside world for trade, new rules and regulations come into play. What we may see here is a leveling of the playing field which allows for greater competition.

    The existence of other platforms is unlikely to play in Apple's favour as there are some major differences in play. 

    First. Although everyone is free to purchase an iDevice if they choose to do so, access to the commercial app market on the device almost aways involves a price of entry. The cost of the device itself. No one pays to enter a shopping centre or Walmart 

    Second. At purchase time, the user is provided with no clear, upfront notification that purchasing the device means effectively signing over any competition rights or claims. Put crudely, it is akin to the user agreeing that Apple will take a piece of every app store transaction, Apple Pay transaction, will control which apps and which content will be made available to them. This would not be an issue if it weren't for my first point. 

    Third. 'competition' via other hardware platforms necessarily comes via giving up an iDevice which was bought at a cost. That alone is reason enough for many to stay with the platform until its time to upgrade. Shopping centres and Walmarts have nowhere near the same levels of stickiness and fidelity programs have zero impact on the user's freedom to choose a competitor without financial penalty.  They may walk out and go back at no extra cost. 

    Fourth. App store usage normally implies a level of 'stickiness' on other levels, be it file format issues, app availability, data transfer etc.

    My personal opinion is that Apple will be required to make some major changes at some point (especially with the EU investigations) but I believe lobbying efforts (especially within the US) will lessen the severity of the changes.

    I also believe that Apple could avoid any scrutiny at all by requiring purchasers to sign over competition claims at purchase time.

    Of course this would be a massive shock to purchasers, the media would relish reminding us of what we are giving up and no amount of Apple marketing would be able to turn things around.

    So, what is Apple left with?

    It had the option of sticking to its guns and weathering the storm in the hope of escaping regulatory changes.

    Deep down, Apple surely knows it doesn't have a leg to stand on but perhaps a combination of lobbying and 'concessions' might be able to reduce the impact of any changes. I think that's the path they've chosen. 
    edited August 28 muthuk_vanalingam
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