Published On: Fri, Jul 31st, 2020

Telegram hits out during Apple’s app store ‘tax’ in latest EU antitrust complaint

Apple has another antitrust assign on a plate. Messaging app Telegram has assimilated Spotify in filing a grave censure opposite a iOS App Store in Europe — adding a voice to a flourishing array of developers peaceful to publicly rail opposite what they rebuke as Apple’s app “tax.”

A orator for Telegram reliable a censure to TechCrunch, indicating us to this open Telegram post where owner Pavel Durov sets out 7 reasons given he thinks iPhone users should be endangered about a company’s behavior.

These operation from a row that Apple’s 30% price on app developers leads to aloft prices for iPhone users; to censorship concerns, given Apple controls what’s authorised (and not allowed) on a store; to critique of delays to app updates that upsurge from Apple’s app examination process; to a explain that a App Store structure is inherently antagonistic to user privacy, given that Apple gets full prominence of that apps users are downloading and enchanting with.

This week Durov also published a blog post in that he takes aim during a array of “myths” he says Apple uses to try to clear a 30% app price — such as a explain that iOS faces copiousness of foe for developers; or that developers can select not to rise for iOS and instead usually tell apps for Android.

“Try to suppose Telegram or TikTok as Android -only apps and we will fast know given avoiding Apple is impossible,” he writes. “You can’t only bar iPhone users. As for a iPhone users, a costs for consumers to switch from an iPhone to an Android is so high that it qualifies as a monopolistic lock-in,” — citing a investigate finished by Yale University to accelerate that claim.

“Now that anti-monopoly investigations opposite Apple have started in a EU and a US, we design Apple to double down on swelling such myths,” Durov adds. “We shouldn’t lay idly and let Apple’s lobbyists and PR agents do their thing. At a finish of a day, it is adult to us – consumers and creators – to urge a rights and to stop monopolists from hidden a money. They might consider they have duped us into a deadlock, given we’ve already bought a vicious mass of their inclination and combined a vicious mass of apps for them. But we shouldn’t be giving them a giveaway float any longer.”

The European Commission declined to criticism on Telegram’s complaint.

We also reached out to Apple for comment, yet a association also declined to yield an on a record matter per Telegram’s complaint. A orator did indicate to a square of researcher research, from progressing this year, that found iOS had a marketplace share of 15% contra Android’s 85%. They also flagged a apart researcher report, that looks during elect rates charged by app and digital calm stores and marketplaces — suggesting this shows that rates charged for identical forms of stores are generally also around 30%.

So a company’s overarching evidence opposite “app tax” complaints continues to be a explain that: A) Apple can’t have corner power, given a comparatively tiny mobile OS marketplace share (versus Android); and B) a App Store price is satisfactory given it’s fundamentally a same as everybody else charges. (On a latter indicate it’s loyal Google also takes a 30% cut around a Play Store. However a Android height lets users sideload apps; whereas, on iOS, users would have to jailbreak their device to get a same turn of leisure to openly implement apps of their choice).

Apple’s arguments are also now being actively looked into by EU regulators. Last month a Competition Commission announced it’s questioning Apple’s iOS store (and Apple Pay) — observant a rough examine of a store had identified concerns associated to conditions and restrictions practical by a tech giant.

Specifically vis-à-vis a App Store, a Commission pronounced it’s looking during Apple’s imperative requirement that developers use a exclusive in-app squeeze system, and during restrictions it relates on a ability of developers to surprise iPhone and iPad users of choice cheaper purchasing possibilities outward of a App Store.

The review by EU regulators is only a latest in a array of vital large tech antitrust probes underneath a bloc’s stream foe chief, Margrethe Vestager — who has also been digging into Amazon and Facebook business practices in new years, as good as attack Google with a array of record-breaking antitrust fines.

Over in a U.S., meanwhile, lawmakers are also actively grappling with foe concerns that have prolonged been trustworthy to a array of tech giants — and are being exacerbated by a pestilence concentrating height power. Apple is one of a tech giants of concern, yet not, seemingly, tip of U.S. lawmakers’ aim list.

Yesterday, a conference of a House Antitrust Subcommittee took testimony from 4 large tech CEOs: Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Apple’s Tim Cook, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Google’s Sundar Pichai — with Pichai, Bezos and Zuckerberg removing a many questions from lawmakers.

Cook did face a array of questions around how a association operates a App Store, yet — including about a elect it charges developers and a specific line of enquiry on given it had private opposition shade time apps. Asked either Apple could ever lift a 30% take on app subscriptions Cook sought to avoid a question, observant a price had remained unvaried given a launch of a store.

He afterwards followed adult by arguing Apple faces outrageous foe for developers — citing alternatives platforms such as Windows and Xbox as also fiercely opposed for developers, and contrast a foe to attract developers as same to “a travel quarrel for marketplace share.”

The row from complainants like Spotify and Telegram is that Cook’s explain of Apple confronting extreme foe for developers’ wares, from a position as a world’s second largest smartphone OS by marketplace share, does not mount adult to scrutiny. But it’ll be adult to EU regulators to establish how to conclude a marketplace for smartphone apps and, issuing from that, either they brand mistreat or not.

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