Apple’s App Store Chief Says Company Promotes Competitors’ Apps ‘All the Time’

Apple’s App Store chief says that the Cupertino company promotes apps from competitors on its platform “all the time.”

That’s according to a new report from iMore, which explains that Apple’s App Store VP, Matt Fischer, on the fourth day of the Apple v. Epic trial, was presented with evidence, specifically an internal email, stating that he felt “strongly” about not featuring Apple’s competitors on its App Store.

According to the report, the internal email from 2016 shows Apple employees engaging in a discussion over a “VoiceOver” collection for Apple’s App Store.

The first email reads:

Hi Andrea,

Just spoke with Tanya about featuring Google and Amazon apps in the VoiceOver collection and she asked us to exclude them from the lineup. Although they may be our best and the brightest apps, Matt feels extremely strong about not featuring our competitors on the App Store store, so Yanta asked us to apply the same filters for this collection. I’m sorry I didn’t check this earlier.

iMore explains that the email was then forwarded to Fischer by Apple’s Senior Director of Global Accessibility Policy & Initiatives at Apple, Sarah Herrlinger, who asked Fischer about the issue.

Herrlinger apparently stated that she believed that Apple should consider looking at the issue from a different viewpoint from other popular apps, emphasizing how Apple would benefit from showing smaller developers on the methods that companies like Amazon and Google were making use of its accessibility feature.

At the trial, Fischer said that the email was “definitely not accurate” and that the employee who sent it was “very misinformed.” He claims he followed up with the employee’s manager and then stated that the App Store constantly promotes small apps.

“We have promoted apps that are competitive to Apple apps since before I joined the App Store team in 2010, and we continue to not only distribute but to feature and promote apps that are competitive to Apple apps in the store. We do this all the time.”