Companies including Spotify, Epic Games, and Match Group have formed a nonprofit coalition to push for App Store changes. The coalition said that app marketplaces collect excessive revenue share on users' digital purchases and stifle competition by giving unfair advantages to their own products. The coalition added that it wasn’t formed as a result of Epic-owned "Fortnite" being banned from app stores.
Marketplace revenue share: (paid apps, digital subscriptions, and in-app purchases)
- Google Play Store – 30% (15% for subs after 12 months)
- Apple App Store – 30% (15% for subs after 12 months)
- Amazon Appstore – 30%
- Microsoft Store – 30% on games, Business and Education stores, and 15% otherwise
- The association was formed to advocate for regulatory changes on how app stores are operated.
- Project Management software provider Basecamp joined as a founding member of the coalition. The company’s founders recently launched the email app Hey and voiced concerns over Apple’s revenue share from its subscription fees.
- Last week, Match Group’s CEO said in an interview that it's "unclear" on why Match Group and other similar digital services provide a revenue cut to Apple, while Uber, which connects two parties, is not subjected to the same rules.
- Last month, Apple and Google banned "Fortnite" from their app stores after the gaming company introduced a payment option to avoid the platforms' commission. Epic Games filed a lawsuit against Apple for banning the game and its game-developing platform Unreal Engine.
- A court ruling allowed Apple to ban "Fortnite" but ordered it to remove the ban on Unreal Engine, as it affected other game developers. Apple countersued Epic – a court hearing is scheduled for Sept. 28.
- Facebook and Microsoft also expressed concerns over Apple’s control of its App Store, following the roadblocks they faced to release their own games.
- In June, the EU launched an investigation against Apple for its App Store policies following complaints from Spotify and an e-book/audiobook distributor. The U.S. Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission have also launched investigations against Apple’s antitrust practices.
- Apple’s App Store generated revenue of $50b last year. Google’s Play Store generated revenue of $29b in the same period. As a standalone, the App Store would rank #66, and the Play Store would rank #108 in Fortune 500 companies.