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Apple Faces New EU Antitrust Complaint Over 30% App Store Commission Rate

iosfan1991

macrumors newbie
Oct 8, 2015
11
16
you are aware the EU didn’t do this?

—-

either way, Apple knows exactly what they are doing. It’s great marketing actually. Using the whole „we care about your privacy“ agenda to justify not opening up the phone to 3rd party stores. All they would have to do is add a „are you sure you want to allow 3rd party apps. Please be aware that ...“
same reason they don’t let you change the default app. They want you to use their services and buy digital goods with them.

Its just redic that you are not even allowed to simply add a LINK to redirect to their mobile page to buy digital goods.

how come ASOS, amazon etc can sell goods but a digital book store cannot sell their digital books without Apple asking for 30 %? It’s not like the music on Spotify is hosted by Apple ...
The reason is that Apple don't have a store that competes with amazon.

Any digital service Apple want to compete with has a fee to steal their profits. Clear evidence of anti-competitive behaviour. Businesses should survive on their own merit, not the merit of other departments.

If Apple set up Apple Music as another company, and charged them the same fees as anyone else, with a different board of directors, it might be OK.
 
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Glideslope

macrumors 604
Dec 7, 2007
6,567
3,692
A quiet place in NY.
you are aware the EU didn’t do this?

—-

either way, Apple knows exactly what they are doing. It’s great marketing actually. Using the whole „we care about your privacy“ agenda to justify not opening up the phone to 3rd party stores. All they would have to do is add a „are you sure you want to allow 3rd party apps. Please be aware that ...“
same reason they don’t let you change the default app. They want you to use their services and buy digital goods with them.

Its just redic that you are not even allowed to simply add a LINK to redirect to their mobile page to buy digital goods.

how come ASOS, amazon etc can sell goods but a digital book store cannot sell their digital books without Apple asking for 30 %? It’s not like the music on Spotify is hosted by Apple ...

Kobo does not move on this without the support of Brussels. I’ll continue to sit back with my popcorn and watch the escalating power struggle between Brussels, Paris, and Berlin. 😉
 
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notabadname

macrumors 65816
Jan 4, 2010
1,380
441
Detroit Suburbs
Every one wants access to Apple’s estimated 1.4 active devices and estimated 1 Billion users. There really isn’t another example of a (relatively) secure ecosystem, targeted consumer and trusted brand in which to market and sell a product. 30% is actually not high compared to what other new-to-market products have to pay to to have their product faced, backed and marketed to the public. If you need an example of that, watch “Shark Tank” again. The struggle new products go through to get market exposure is massive. That is why we see so many failures in the “as seen on TV” strategy that never make it to your local retailer. And with the Apple approach, there is no distribution or production risk if your product becomes an overnight viral hit. A single person can become rich for making a simple app that looks like a lighter or makes a gastric sound effect. I don’t believe most people understand what it typically costs to get your product placed on a store shelf.
 
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dlewis23

macrumors 65816
Oct 23, 2007
1,012
1,148
Good, topple that monopoly, where Apple gets a 30% cut for providing nothing other than basic payment management (compared to apps that are generally free) for the sale of services it does not render.
Or, if trying to be consistent, charge Amazon 30% for material goods sold through their app as well.

Really, basic payment management thats all you think Apple provides for the 30%? How about the hundreds of terabytes per day in bandwidth for pushing those app downloads and updates?

You think thats free? It costs an insane amount of money to provide that.
 
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xander49x

macrumors member
Apr 23, 2015
86
122
world
You mean:

„I have no choice put to give you 30% because if I don’t, you won’t let me sell my stuff in the only store. Also, feel free to change the rules any time you see fit and kill my entire business while you’re at it.”

If there were an option to sell apps, and content through those apps, without having to go the Apple, them you’re have a point, but both Apple and Google basically have a duopoly stranglehold and that’s just not healthy.

Imagine there were only two companies in control of all the supermarkets. Then imagine you produced groceries and had to pay 30% to be even able to sell your groceries? You’d be cool with that? Almost sounds like a protection racket to be honest.

but there are other markets besides apple and google, look at the jailbreaking community.
 
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jlc1978

macrumors 68030
Aug 14, 2009
2,893
1,184
a 30% cut on getting your ebook published is peanuts compared to what you'll have to lose when publishing a paperback. as a writer - who basically can do all the stuff end to end using tools apple provided for free - you will have 70% of the sale price as revenue, versus you might be able to get 10% tops from the price of a paperback.

especially 'regular' sw distribution (buying stuff on media) has even bigger extra costs for the actual creator.

everyone tends to forget that all developers get an unlimited 'lifetime MSDN subscription like' dev environment for free, all the sales tools and access to a worldwide marketplace. sales commission of 30% is peanuts compared to all the investments or out payments to 3rd parties if you'd have to do this alone.
Exactly. Apple has basically cut out all of the other middlemen and costs in exchange for a much smaller cut tahn if they were still in the picture; yet people complain about 30% when it is actually quite a deal for developers and writers.
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Imagine there were only two companies in control of all the supermarkets. Then imagine you produced groceries and had to pay 30% to be even able to sell your groceries? You’d be cool with that? Almost sounds like a protection racket to be honest.
Google "slotting fees." Many stores do not shelve products for free.
 
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cocky jeremy

macrumors 601
Jul 12, 2008
4,653
2,488
Columbus, OH
No one is asking for free.

30% is ridiculous for what they offer. There's almost no value add from Apple. Just extra hoops and arbitrary nonsense to jump through.
Are you kidding me? No value? These companies likely wouldn't even exist without Apple. Either pay what they ask, or go somewhere else.
 
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aknabi

macrumors regular
Jul 4, 2011
178
224
I do not mind paying for the Apple services, but personally I do thing 30% is very much. If you want to sell software on the AppStore you also need a (payed) apple developer account. Apple's developer documentation is horrible (if even available), their 'rules' are very strict and developer support is (practically) absent. A 30% tax on all that is not good. Add local taxes and the total tax is way over 50% (here in Europe). That means that it becomes pretty difficult to earn on selling software via the App Store. Developers should up prices for the App Store, which is not beneficial for end users.
Kobo does not move on this without the support of Brussels. I’ll continue to sit back with my popcorn and watch the escalating power struggle between Brussels, Paris, and Berlin. 😉

Here in the EU we need to refill our popcorn buckets watching the cold civil war taking place in the US between level headed, science/fact driven folks and red hatted, fact free nuts while you let a pandemic and (valid) protests spread...

You do realize even original US anti-trust/monopoly laws like the Sherman act were intended to stop behavior like Apple's... too much domination and concentration makes not only an anti-competitive market, but a less innovative one in the long run. The US just re-interpreted the meaning of the Sherman act in the 80s.
 
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4look4rd

macrumors regular
Dec 16, 2009
147
67
This is exactly what anti-trust was made for.

Apple is using their market power in the OS market, to capture other markets (music streaming). They are acting anti-consumer as prices are going up due to their anti-competitive behavior.

Its a clean cut anti-trust case, they will be hammered hard.
 
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Deliro

macrumors 6502a
Sep 20, 2011
630
525
Good, topple that monopoly, where Apple gets a 30% cut for providing nothing other than basic payment management (compared to apps that are generally free) for the sale of services it does not render.
Or, if trying to be consistent, charge Amazon 30% for material goods sold through their app as well.

While 30% is steep it is standard. Stream, Microsoft, Sony, etc all have 30% cuts. There is more to content distribution from a platform than just payment processing.
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This is exactly what anti-trust was made for.

Apple is using their market power in the OS market, to capture other markets (music streaming). They are acting anti-consumer as prices are going up due to their anti-competitive behavior.

Its a clean cut anti-trust case, they will be hammered hard.

OK well if they single out Apple they should go after all content platforms that charge similar rates. The creators know that they are signing up for. Try developing your own distribution management and payment processing platform yourself if you don’t like the publisher cuts.
 
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4look4rd

macrumors regular
Dec 16, 2009
147
67
While 30% is steep it is standard. Stream, Microsoft, Sony, etc all have 30% cuts. There is more to content distribution from a platform than just payment processing.

There is a big difference between those services.

Steam has major competition from the various game stores which charge different fees, and it also doesn't own or force vendors to go through their payment system. Additionally there are still physical game sales, and you can import games purchased outside of steam into your library.

Sony and Microsoft and Nintendo, for console digital goods sales, still support physical media so you're not forced into buying games through their consoles. Although once digital downloads reach a certain threshold when it becomes the de-facto only way to purchase games they should be hit too.

Google with android is a bit better because they allow for different app stores to be installed, but still they are a defacto monopoly in the android market, and should likely be hit with anti-trust too.

Remember that Microsoft got busted for bundling IE with windows
 
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alfonsog

macrumors 6502
Jul 17, 2002
364
253
Cape Coral, FL
Before Apple Music and Books it was fine to take 30% but if Apple takes a 30% of it’s own app sales it still goes to Apple 😂 it’s anticompetitive
 
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Krizoitz

macrumors 65816
Apr 26, 2003
1,159
679
Tokyo, Japan
This is exactly what anti-trust was made for.

Apple is using their market power in the OS market, to capture other markets (music streaming). They are acting anti-consumer as prices are going up due to their anti-competitive behavior.

Its a clean cut anti-trust case, they will be hammered hard.

You have no idea what you are talking about. Anti-trust requires having a monopoly or close to it. Apple doesn’t have a smartphone monopoly by a long shot. Less than 1/3 of devices in Europe run iOS. How is that a monopoly?
 
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genovelle

macrumors 65816
May 8, 2008
1,102
985


Apple is facing another European antitrust complaint, this time over its 30 percent cut on ebooks in the App Store. The complaint was made to the European Commission by Rakuten's Kobo subsidiary, which alleges that Apple's commission rate is anti-competitive when it also promotes its own Apple Books service.


According to a Financial Times report, Kobo argues that having to pay Apple 30 percent commission on each ebook that it sells through the App Store via the Kobo app makes it next to impossible to turn a profit, whereas Apple's own Bookstore means it doesn't have to take an equivalent revenue cut.

The complaint is similar to one that Spotify filed with the EC in March 2019. Spotify specifically took issue with Apple's 30 percent fee collected on ‌App Store‌ purchases, which has forced Spotify to charge subscribers through the ‌App Store‌ $12.99 per month for its Premium plan instead of the $9.99 per month fee it normally collects.

Spotify argued that the iPhone maker enforced ‌App Store‌ rules that "purposely limit choice and stifle innovation at the expense of the user experience."

Apple swiftly hit back at the accusation, labeling it as "misleading rhetoric" and arguing that "Spotify wants all the benefits of a free app without being free." Spotify's antitrust complaint is still under investigation.

The EU can force companies to change business practices they deem unlawful and levy fines of up to 10 per cent of a company's global turnover. However, investigations by the European Commission can take years to resolve unless the companies involved offer to settle the probes by making legally binding agreements to change their behavior.

Article Link: Apple Faces New EU Antitrust Complaint Over 30% App Store Commission Rate
I say Apple charges them 40-70% like the previous leaders in the market did. Apps on phones required a huge upfront and 70% commission paid to either the phone company or the game box maker. Then they would still be responsible for marketing. Apple is the driving force of the marketing of their platform and is where the value lies. They also handle the distribution and customer service which what a function of the developer previously.
Maybe they should break it down. 10% for processing, 10% platform access and distribution, 10% customer service, 10% marketing. They should offer this to anyone wanting access and complaining. 40% instead of 30% for all those services integrated.
 
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pasamio

macrumors regular
Jan 22, 2020
216
165
There is a big difference between those services.

Steam has major competition from the various game stores which charge different fees, and it also doesn't own or force vendors to go through their payment system. Additionally there are still physical game sales, and you can import games purchased outside of steam into your library.

And you can buy digital goods outside of the app at what ever rate the vendor wishes to charge and have them in your library on your iOS device. My entire Kindle library is this way.

Sony and Microsoft and Nintendo, for console digital goods sales, still support physical media so you're not forced into buying games through their consoles. Although once digital downloads reach a certain threshold when it becomes the de-facto only way to purchase games they should be hit too.

Every game for those platforms already has a cut though either through someone selling you the physical media or the digital stores. IGN has an article on the 30% cut being an industry standard.

Google with android is a bit better because they allow for different app stores to be installed, but still they are a defacto monopoly in the android market, and should likely be hit with anti-trust too.

Remember that Microsoft got busted for bundling IE with windows

The market isn't generally defined as an operating system, the market is defined by the category, in this case smart phones. Android has a monopoly on the smartphone market, iOS does not. Apple has an advantage on Apple's own platform however that doesn't raise to a monopoly because consumers not only have a choice to pick a different device (Android) but consumers in the case of Kobo (and others) have the option to purchase the product outside of Apple's ecosystem. Apple does prevent them advertising this fact inside their apps and linking to them but Apple also is distributing their app for the $99 yearly developer license to those same consumers.

If I understand it correctly, the 30% cut for Apple on digital good sold through their apps also existed prior to Apple selling books.
 
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78Bandit

macrumors 6502a
Jun 13, 2009
683
1,234
The biggest issue is Apple is forcing companies that sell digital goods to use the Apple payment system when enrolling through an app even if the company has its own existing system. 30% isn't a bad rate if you want Apple to handle collecting the payment, paying the credit card company fee, and remit the money to your bank account. But then you've got companies like Amazon, Kobo, Spotify, etc. that don't need or want to use Apple to collect the payments, yet Apple won't allow them an alternative inside the app even though they don't require it for physical goods or services.

It will be up to the commission to see if Apple appears to be doing so for a valid reason or if they are unfairly benefiting from stifling competition for iBooks, Apple Music, iTunes videos, etc.
 
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justperry

macrumors G4
Aug 10, 2007
11,262
7,350
I'm a rolling stone.
I do not mind paying for the Apple services, but personally I do thing 30% is very much. If you want to sell software on the AppStore you also need a (payed) apple developer account. Apple's developer documentation is horrible (if even available), their 'rules' are very strict and developer support is (practically) absent. A 30% tax on all that is not good. Add local taxes and the total tax is way over 50% (here in Europe). That means that it becomes pretty difficult to earn on selling software via the App Store. Developers should up prices for the App Store, which is not beneficial for end users.

I just want to point out that 30% + 20% (VAT) ≠ 50%
 
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Osamede

macrumors 6502a
Oct 28, 2009
720
418


Apple is facing another European antitrust complaint, this time over its 30 percent cut on ebooks in the App Store. The complaint was made to the European Commission by Rakuten's Kobo subsidiary, which alleges that Apple's commission rate is anti-competitive when it also promotes its own Apple Books service.


According to a Financial Times report, Kobo argues that having to pay Apple 30 percent commission on each ebook that it sells through the App Store via the Kobo app makes it next to impossible to turn a profit, whereas Apple's own Bookstore means it doesn't have to take an equivalent revenue cut.

The complaint is similar to one that Spotify filed with the EC in March 2019. Spotify specifically took issue with Apple's 30 percent fee collected on ‌App Store‌ purchases, which has forced Spotify to charge subscribers through the ‌App Store‌ $12.99 per month for its Premium plan instead of the $9.99 per month fee it normally collects.

Spotify argued that the iPhone maker enforced ‌App Store‌ rules that "purposely limit choice and stifle innovation at the expense of the user experience."

Apple swiftly hit back at the accusation, labeling it as "misleading rhetoric" and arguing that "Spotify wants all the benefits of a free app without being free." Spotify's antitrust complaint is still under investigation.

The EU can force companies to change business practices they deem unlawful and levy fines of up to 10 per cent of a company's global turnover. However, investigations by the European Commission can take years to resolve unless the companies involved offer to settle the probes by making legally binding agreements to change their behavior.

Article Link: Apple Faces New EU Antitrust Complaint Over 30% App Store Commission Rate
Rakuten is free to invest it’s money in an OS or use a free Android one. And it can take payment in bitcoins.

I’m a big supporter of strong regulation for properly functioning markets, but a company’s own operating system is not a market. It’s property.

Similarly, these publishers and the fools who use Facebook, also need to grasp that that is private property, not a the public commons.
 
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mukiex

macrumors newbie
May 31, 2016
11
68
I want to sell my stuff in your store without paying rent.

Me: I want to sell my stuff in your building and pay rent.

Apple: Sure. Only rent's a percentage, not a flat monthly fee. Also we're opening a new store in the same building that sells the same stuff you do but doesn't have the rent overhead 'cause we own the building so we can undercut the **** out of your business.

Me: wait

The rent argument doesn't make any sense. Malls charge all their storefronts rent. Malls do not also open up their own stalls with the same product as their stores after noticing how successful those stores are. Apple does this regularly. They definitely have a case for a very flagrant conflict of interests here.
 
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