A number of companies have formed a non-profit organization with the goal of forcing Apple to change its App Store practices.
The founding members include Spotify and Epic Games — both of which have been very vocal about Apple’s “unfair” App Store fees and other issues — as well as a number of other companies, including Basecamp, Blix, Blockchain.com, Deezer, and ProtonMail.
Called the Coalition for App Fairness, the group argues that Apple’s 15-30 percent fee from each App Store purchase is too high, and that its App Store practices are “anti-competitive,” and offer “no consumer freedom.”
“Apple uses its control of the iOS operating system to favor itself by controlling the products and features that are available to consumers,” states the text on the Coalition’s website. Several examples are offered; one “case study” claims that “Apple has manipulated its rules and policies to disadvantage Tile, a popular Bluetooth finding hardware and app developer, in favor of its competing Find My App.”
As for Apple’s App Store fees, the Coalition claims that “no other transaction fee — in any industry — comes close.”
The Coalition has also laid down 10 App Store Principles it sees as crucial for the App Store to become fairer towards developers. These include not requiring developers to use one app store exclusively, giving them access to the same interfaces and info as the app store owners give its own developers, and forbidding app store owners from preferencing their own apps and services.
Furthermore, the principles state that “no developer should be required to pay unfair, unreasonable or discriminatory fees or revenue shares, nor be required to sell within its app anything it doesn’t wish to sell, as a condition to gain access to the app store.” In addition, all developers should have the right to communicate directly with users through its app for business purposes, and no app store owner should prohibit third parties from offering competing app stores on the app store owner’s platform.
Out of all the companies in the Coalition, Epic Games has been most vocal about Apple’s App Store practices; the two companies are currently suing each other over an in-app store in Epic’s popular game Fortnite. And last year, Spotify filed a complaint to the EU’s anti-competition watchdog, claiming that Apple’s App Store rules give Apple an “unfair advantage.”
Mashable has reached out to Apple regarding the Coalition’s claims and will update the article when we hear back.