Meta, Microsoft, X, Spotify Unite Against Apple’s App Store Policies

A legal storm is brewing as Meta Platforms, Microsoft, X, Spotify, and Match Group have joined forces to challenge Apple’s App Store policies, The Wall Street Journal is reporting.

Join forces

The tech giants have filed legal petitions, aligning with “Fortnite” maker Epic Games, in a concerted effort to combat what they perceive as Apple’s monopolistic grip over app distribution and payments.

At the heart of the dispute lies Apple’s enforcement of a 30% commission fee for transactions within the App Store, a practice vehemently opposed by developers who argue that it stifles innovation and inflates costs for consumers.

Despite a federal court ruling mandating Apple to permit alternative payment methods, the tech behemoth’s response has drawn sharp criticism from its rivals.

Apple’s announcement of a 27% commission for transactions outside the App Store sparked outrage among software-makers, prompting Epic Games to petition U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers to enforce her decision. Judge Rogers, who oversaw the 2021 case, could potentially amend her ruling.

Apple store

In a joint amicus briefing, Meta, Microsoft, X, and Match Group lambasted Apple’s response as inadequate, asserting that it fails to uphold the court’s directive and imposes additional restrictions on developers.

They argue that Apple’s control over external links remains stringent, undermining the court’s intent to foster competition and consumer choice.

Furthermore, the filing highlights concerns over Apple’s new policies impacting essential functions such as subscriptions, discounts, and advertising. Microsoft, X, and Match Group contend that Apple’s commission fees and limitations hinder their ability to offer competitive pricing and alternative payment options.

Apple, on its part, maintains that it has fully complied with the court order, emphasizing the implementation of a system allowing developers to inform customers of alternative purchasing methods.

However, legal experts speculate on the adequacy of Apple’s changes, anticipating potential scrutiny from Judge Rogers.

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