Google Pulls an Apple with Play Store Rules

Ruben Fields
September 26, 2020

Called the Coalition for App Fairness, the group argues that Apple's 15-30 percent fee from each App Store purchase is too high, and that its App Store practices are "anti-competitive", and offer "no consumer freedom".

Named as the Coalition for App Fairness, several companies including Epic Games, Spotify, Tile, and others have formed a coalition.

The spokesperson added that the 30% commission doesn't apply to ticketing for real-world events, only those that are held within App Store apps in a virtual fashion. Participating apps are required to integrate with a number of Apple technologies, such as Universal Search, Siri, AirPlay, and single sign-on or zero sign-on, to ensure a seamless experience for customers.

Some of the major members of the coalition are Basecamp, Blix, Blockchain, Deezer, Epic Games, EPC, Spotify, and Tile.

Separately, Epic Games is waging an all-out war against Apple's removal of Fortnite from iOS devices after it violated terms.

Nonetheless, this policy hasn't prevented big-name companies from circumventing the requirement - probably by trying to rationalize it as one of the possible exceptions, and a more strict definition could be what is going to change. Its App Store is purged of junk and spam more often and app reviews are handled largely by humans, not automated tech. It's a coordinated effort to protest Apple's current App Store rules.

- App stores shouldn't prohibit third parties from offering apps that compete with the app store owner.

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The group has also published a list of 10 "App Store Principles" it would like to see enacted industry-wide.

Apple did not immediately respond to an AFP request for comment.

Apple didn't directly comment on the group's launch, but it did today release new resources, including a redesign of its About the App Store page that details its benefits, the addition of a page that focused specifically on developer benefits, an overview of the advantages provided by its app developer program and a new site that explains its Apple Video Partner program and how to apply.

"Although it is great that we have big-name companies like Epic and Spotify joining the organization, we don't just speak for them", she said in an interview.

Facebook is also wrangling with Apple over new privacy rules for iPhones that will require more notifications before tracking users across apps.

Obviously, the complaints against Apple and its App Store policies are gaining momentum. Developers who are not in compliance will be urged to update their apps to bring them in line.

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