It took a bit longer than previously expected, but Epic Games has found its coalition of like-minded companies to “fight back” against Apple.
If you’ll recall, back in August we reported that Epic Games was looking to “form a coalition” of “Apple critics” to fight against Apple’s policies. The goal? Put enough pressure on Apple, one way or another, to get the company to change its App Store policies. However, that initial report suggested that companies like Spotify hadn’t signed on with any coalition at the time.
But oh, the times they are a-changin’.
Please welcome the Coalition for App Fairness. This is a brand new, independent nonprofit organization that is advocating for “freedom of choice and fair competition across the app ecosystem”. And the coalition’s website makes no mistake about which company it’s targeting: Apple’s name is all over the place. The coalition notes that Apple’s control over iOS means it can “steal ideas from competitors”, forces developers to sell through the App Store, and much more.
The coalition is formed of many companies, many of which who have tangled with Apple over these issues for quite some time. That includes Spotify, Epic Games, the Match Group, Tile, Blockchain, Deezer, Prepear, SkyDemon, ProtonMail, and News Media Europe. But, the coalition is still looking for more members.
It’s not just Apple, of course. Google charges a similar 30% tax from its own digital storefront, Google Play. As such, the Coalition for App Fairness is including Google in its efforts for change, too. The Coalition for App Fairness is seeking widespread changes. The coalition is based out of Washington, D.C. in the United States and in Brussels, Belgium. To that end, the coalition will be seeking regulatory changes in three key areas: “30% app tax“, “no consumer freedom“, and “anti-competitive policies“.
There are several “demands” that the coalition is seeking. Some of those include:
- no developers should have to use an app store exclusively
- no app store owner or its platform should engage in self-preferencing its own apps or services
- every developer should always have access to app stores
- no developer should be required to pay unfair, unreasonable or discriminatory fees or revenue shares
The Coalition for App Fairness is seeking to dismantle the monopolistic control of the app ecosystem by Apple, and, depending on just how much pressure it can apply, it might get its wish. Apple has been under scrutiny in many parts of the world for its App Store policies for quite some time now. And, up until recently, many of these companies haven’t spoken up about their issues with Apple’s policies (Spotify, Epic Games, and Tile the notable exceptions).
Is it time for Apple (and Google, and other companies who have similar “taxes”) to change? What do you think?