Apple Under Fire: Meta, Spotify Blast App Store Policies

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Apple’s recent moves regarding its App Store have sparked an angry backlash against the company from a number of app developers, including tech giants like Meta and Spotify, who accuse the iPhone maker of using its market dominance to undermine Apple. their rivals.

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In a strongly worded blog post published Tuesday night, Spotify once again accused Apple of engaging in anti-competitive behavior by using “complicated and confusing” rules in its app store to disadvantage competitors.

Highlighting the problems it faced with its recent launch of Audiobooks on its platform, Spotify said that Apple, which also sells audiobooks, rejected the proposed purchase process in its app three times, forcing it to adopt a more cumbersome method.

Spotify claims that Apple’s rules and 30% commission on all in-app sales prevent it from displaying prices for audiobooks in its app, as it has to force customers to request a pay-for-books link. email.

Social media giant Meta also criticized Apple’s recent decision to charge a 30% commission on “impulse” sales for social media posts, which will affect promoted content on Instagram and Facebook, by forcing these social apps to use Apple’s own in-app payment. system.

In a statement shared with The Verge, Meta accused Apple of “undermining others in the digital economy” and reneging on its earlier promise not to receive a share of ad revenue from developers.

Meta argues that the biggest impact of this move by Apple will be felt by small businesses and influencers who rely on the Facebook app to promote their posts rather than large advertisers who work directly with the social giant.

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“Apple continues to put competitors at a disadvantage, and the impact is huge – on consumers, app developers, and now authors and publishers. …. I can’t be the only one who sees the absurdity”, CEO of Spotify, Daniel Ek. tweeted.

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Even as it butts heads with Facebook over ads, Apple is trying to expand its own advertising business. Earlier this week, Apple started showing more ads in the iPhone app store. However, several users Y developers have raised concerns about the high volume of gambling ads appearing on the App Store after the update. Marco Arment, former CTO of Tumblr and developer of the popular Overcast podcast app, She complained on Twitter that he “really didn’t agree with” gambling ads appearing on his app’s product page. “The App Store has so deeply corrupted a great company,” Arment added. John Gruber, who writes the blog dedicated to Apple Daring Fireball tweeted: “If these App Store ads were in our email inboxes, we’d all mark them as spam.”

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Both Meta and Spotify have clashed with Apple over its App Store policies multiple times in recent years. Earlier this year, Meta acknowledged that it expects a $10 billion hit from Apple’s recent sweeping privacy changes that reduce the effectiveness of targeted ads by limiting tracking of user behavior across various apps. Apple has tried to position itself as a champion of user privacy, but critics have argued that it is simply trying to win its own share of the online advertising business dominated by rivals Meta and Google. Tesla CEO and billionaire Elon Musk, who is in the process of buying Twitter, also concern expressed about Apple’s recent changes to the app store, moves that will almost certainly affect Twitter’s business. Spotify has frequently clashed with Apple over its dual role as arbiter of rules on the App Store and as a competitor to other app makers. Spotify has long argued that Apple’s 30% commission on in-app sales gives its own services like Apple Music advantages over third-party competitors. In 2020, the EU announced that it had opened an investigation into Apple’s alleged anti-competitive practices. The investigation is still ongoing.


Speaking at the Wall Street Journal’s Tech Live event on Tuesday, Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, argued that its recent changes will drive innovation in the online ad space, saying, “We feel that in the long run, quality advertising and product privacy could co-exist, there would be innovation, part of us, part of others.” Federighi acknowledged that Apple is still unsure of the short-term impact of its moves.

Other readings

Developers complain about gambling ads appearing in their app store listings (MacRumors)

Apple’s new App Store tax on ads is a direct hit to Meta (The Verge)

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