Apple’s most outspoken critics aren’t happy with the company’s recent App Store changes. In a statement to The Verge, Spotify spokesperson Jeanne Moran says that the new 27 percent tax on alternative payment methods shows that Apple “will stop at nothing to protect the profits they exact on the backs of developers and consumers under their app store monopoly.”
Apple’s biggest foes are big mad about :
The company updated its App Store policies to comply with a court order handed down as part of the Epic v. Apple decision. The change lets developers in the US link to alternative payment ways, but only if they shell out a 27 percent commission for each purchase made outside the App Store.
Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney was one of the first to call out Apple’s changes as “anticompetitive,” adding the App Store policy “totally undermines” the court order. He also says it “kills price competition” by preventing developers from giving in-app purchases for a lower price. Not only do developers have to pay fees to third-party payment processors but they also have to pay Apple.
It wasn’t long before other Apple critics reacted. Spotify’s Moran says Apple’s latest move “is outrageous and flies in the face of the court’s efforts to enable greater competition and user choice.” Moran also states that the new 27 percent tax is “essentially a recreation of Apple’s fees” and calls on the European Commission to prevent similar policy changes in the EU.
The Coalition for App Fairness (CAF), a group founded by Spotify, Epic Games, Tile, and other companies looking to loosen the grip of Apple and Google on the mobile app industry, also commented on the change. “Apple’s approach to ‘compliance’ with the District Court’s decision will not benefit developers and consumers,” Rick VanMeter, the executive director of the CAF, said in a statement. “These changes do nothing to enhance consumer choice” or to “lower prices for in-app purchases or inject competition into Apple’s walled garden.”
Apple has adopted similar policies elsewhere — but regulators aren’t too happy with the move, either. In 2022, Apple started letting dating app developers in the Netherlands use alternative payment methods with the same 27 percent tax. However, Dutch regulators fined Apple $55 million for failure to comply. Apple also adopted a similar policy for all app developers in South Korea, where a new law stops Apple and Google from forcing developers to use first-party payment processors. South Korea warned both Apple and Google over the chance of fines for breaking the new payment rules.