Fortnite's 'Epic' fight with Apple explained


"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", Horacio Gutierrez, Spotify's head of global affairs and chief legal officer, said in the press release announcing the launch.

Google and Apple have come under scrutiny over their app store fees this year, and the former is set to double down on them. "Apple has agreed to provide a brief, three-month respite after which struggling businesses will have to, yet again, pay Apple the full 30% App Store tax". Epic has been fighting against the 30% cut both app stores impose - while that can be circumvented on Android through third-party app stores and sideloading, iPhone users have no recourse or other source of apps other than Apple's monopolistic App Store.

When asked about the change, Apple provided the following statement: "The App Store provides a great business opportunity for all developers, who use it to reach half a billion visitors each week across 175 countries".

Apple declined to comment but on Thursday unveiled a new section of its website explaining the benefits of its approach, saying it had blocked 150,000 apps past year for privacy violations.

The Coalition for App Fairness largely grew out of difficulties the companies had developing apps for use in iPhones. But Apple to date has had much stricter rules for app makers.

The coalition has 13 founding members.

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The change-or, clarification, I guess-comes in the wake of Epic implementing in-game purchases in Fortnite on both Android and iOS, triggering both Apple and Google to ban the app on their respective platforms.

Each of these developers has tangled with Apple individually over its in-app payment policy.

In the past it has rebutted complaints from Spotify and Epic Games by saying they want to reap the benefits of the App Store's ecosystem without contributing financially.

"Apple leverages its platform to give its own services an unfair advantage over competitors", said Kirsten Daru, vice president and general counsel of Tile, a startup that makes Bluetooth tracking devices and is part of the new nonprofit. As Epic's fight with Apple and Google escalated, Spotify and Match Group spoke out in support of the video game company.

Nevertheless, Apple's rules are more stringent than Google's.

But one thing they're all betting on the fact that they represent enough popular, high-profile apps that users would revolt if they were suddenly all removed from the App Store and Google Play Store in retribution.