3 minutes read Nov 29, 2022 12:49 pm PSLast updated 13 hours ago
Spotify and Epic Games find Musk as ally in fight against Apple royalties
Supanta Mukherjee and Martin Coulter
LONDON, Nov 29 (Reuters) – Elon Musk’s declaration of war on Apple (AAPL.O) in a series of tweets on Monday gives Spotify and Fortnite maker Epic Games a powerful ally to rebuke the tech giant for its 30% share of the app. Keep. Evaluate.
Musk criticized the fees Apple charges software developers for in-app purchases and posted a meme saying he was ready to “go to war” rather than pay tax. Musk also suggested that Apple threatened to block Twitter from its app store, although he didn’t explain why.
Since buying Twitter last month, Musk has announced plans to charge users $8 a month to verify themselves on the social media platform to boost its profitability and avoid bankruptcy. A 30% cut would be a big dent in those plans.
The European Commission has been investigating whether Apple’s rules for app developers violate its rules after Spotify filed an antitrust lawsuit against Apple in 2019.
Apple risks fines of up to 10% of its global turnover if found guilty of violating EU antitrust rules.
Luke Saddards, an analyst at investment firm Finimize, said Apple was “playing a dangerous game” by threatening to remove Twitter from its App Store.
“If Twitter were launched, there could be another lawsuit in the works. We saw how Elon Musk used the courts effectively during the Twitter purchase and it wouldn’t be surprising if he followed the same strategy now.”
Earlier this month, Fortnite video game maker Epic Games asked a three-judge U.S. federal appeals panel to overturn part of a lower court antitrust ruling that largely favored Apple and its App Store payments business.
Apple said the commissions it receives help it fund app reviews so that consumers are not exposed to fraudulent, pornographic or privacy-invading apps.
“Apple continues to disadvantage competitors and the impact is huge: on consumers, app developers, and now creators and publishers. Nothing will change without action from lawmakers,” blogger Spotify CEO Daniel Ek tweeted last month.