Info-tech

Companies, including Spotify, Epic Games, form advocacy group to push for Apple App Store changes

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on September 25, 2020 Published on September 25, 2020

The NPO called Coalition for App Fairness (CAF) includes Spotify, ‘Fortnite’ maker Epic Games, Basecamp and ‘Tinder’ parent Match Group

Raising concerns about the onerous, and arbitrary terms and conditions that govern the app store

A group of leading app developers have banded together to form an independent non-profit organisation to urge Apple and other app store owners to make changes to their business practices.

The NPO called Coalition for App Fairness (CAF) includes Spotify, ‘Fortnite’ maker Epic Games, Basecamp and ‘Tinder’ parent Match Group.

Other founding members of CAF include Blix, Blockchain.com, Deezer, Epic Games, the European Publishers Council,, News Media Europe, Prepear, Protonmail, SkyDemon, Spotify, and Tile.

Three main issues

The coalition highlights various issues with the “gatekeepers” of the app stores, Apple in particular. It details three main issues with the Apple App Store, its ‘anti-competitive’ policies, the 30 per cent ‘Apple Tax’ levied on developers for in-app payments and the lack of consumers freedom with the iPhone apps (aka software) being only available via the Apple App Store.

Also read: Apple, Google remove Fortnite from app stores

“For years, app developers have been publicly and privately raising concerns about the onerous, and arbitrary terms and conditions that govern the Apple App Store in particular, as well as last-minute iOS updates, which equally disadvantage developers,” reads an official release.

“We are an advocate for any company that’s ready to reclaim its rights and challenge the anti-competitive behaviours that exist on app stores today,” said Tim Sweeney, CEO and founder of Epic Games which is currently in a legal battle with Apple over Fortnite.

“Apple’s IAP forces consumers to pay higher prices by inserting Apple between app developers and their users, leading to customer confusion and dissatisfaction that has far-reaching implications for our businesses,” said Mark Buse, SVP and Head of Global Government Relations & Policy at Match Group.

Set of 10 principles

The CAF has published a set of 10 “App Store Principles” to address these issues.

“As enforcers, regulators, and legislators around the world investigate Apple for its anti-competitive behaviour, The Coalition for App Fairness will be the voice of app and game developers in the effort to protect consumer choice and create a level playing field for all,” said Horacio Gutierrez, Head of Global Affairs and Chief Legal Officer at Spotify.

The CAF has called on companies of any size or industry to join the initiative.

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Published on September 25, 2020
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