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Apple-Commissioned Study Defends App Store’s 30% Cut Ahead of Tim Cook’s Testimony

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An Apple-commissioned study from Analysis Group released today has defended Apple’s 30% cut of App Store sales by highlighting that Apple’s fees and practices are largely in line with other digital marketplaces, including the Google Play app store, and the Amazon Appstore, CNBC is reporting.

The new study has been released just ahead of Apple CEO Tim Cook’s hearing before the House Judiciary Committee as part of an antitrust investigation into big technology companies next week, where he will be joined by chief executives from Amazon, Facebook, and Google.

“The commission rates charged by digital marketplaces most similar to the App Store, such as other app stores and video game digital marketplaces, are generally around 30%,” the authors of the study wrote. 

The Apple-backed study has four major findings:

  • Most app stores charge the same 30% cut on digital goods.

  • Retailers, travel booking services and other marketplaces can charge more than 30% for their services. 

  • Distributing software through an app store is less expensive than distributing through brick-and-mortar retailers.

  • Other app stores and digital marketplaces often require users to use their in-app payment mechanism and forbid sellers from redirecting buyers to finish the transaction in another venue.

Beyond the antitrust investigation, the US House Judiciary Committee is also likely to ask questions regarding hate speech on Facebook and Google’s YouTube division. The committee is also likely to talk about the treatment of warehouse workers to Amazon’s Bezos.

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