Apple Faces New EU Antitrust Complaint Over 30% App Store Commission Rate

Apple is facing another European antitrust complaint, this time over its 30 percent cut on ebooks in the App Store. The complaint was made to the European Commission by Rakuten's Kobo subsidiary, which alleges that Apple's commission rate is anti-competitive when it also promotes its own Apple Books service.

kobo
According to a Financial Times report, Kobo argues that having to pay Apple 30 percent commission on each ebook that it sells through the ‌App Store‌ via the Kobo app makes it next to impossible to turn a profit, whereas Apple's own Bookstore means it doesn't have to take an equivalent revenue cut.

The complaint is similar to one that Spotify filed with the EC in March 2019. Spotify specifically took issue with Apple's 30 percent fee collected on ‌‌App Store‌‌ purchases, which has forced Spotify to charge subscribers through the ‌‌App Store‌‌ $12.99 per month for its Premium plan instead of the $9.99 per month fee it normally collects.

Spotify argued that the iPhone maker enforced ‌‌App Store‌‌ rules that "purposely limit choice and stifle innovation at the expense of the user experience."

Apple swiftly hit back at the accusation, labeling it as "misleading rhetoric" and arguing that "Spotify wants all the benefits of a free app without being free." Spotify's antitrust complaint is still under investigation.

The EU can force companies to change business practices they deem unlawful and levy fines of up to 10 per cent of a company's global turnover. However, investigations by the European Commission can take years to resolve unless the companies involved offer to settle the probes by making legally binding agreements to change their behavior.

Top Rated Comments

gamersevil Avatar
11 months ago
I want to sell my stuff in your store without paying rent.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Naaaaak Avatar
11 months ago

30% is too much, but they are providing much more than “basic payment management”.

AppStore curation and running it isn’t free and neither is the R&D for all the developer tooling (which Apple of course needs internally but requirements for internal and external tooling are quite a bit different).
App Store curation sucks. There's nothing I've found in the App Store that I didn't find elsewhere first.

Curators let through numerous scam apps, numerous apps that are straight knockoffs of existing apps with names changed, apps with malware… but if you used a round rect icon that looked like an iPhone for one of your buttons they'll make sure to reject your app lest your violate their trademark iPhone shape (which could be any round rect).

The App Store really is basic payment management with extras I don't want or need. For a 30% cut, devs can't even refund their users. And building for the app store after distributing direct is stage 4 CANCER and sucks the fun out of dev life.

Don't even get me started on the utterly retarded certificate management, which every dev loses hours on at least once a year (before they give in and wipe and re-roll everything because Apple's cert management doesn't work correctly 10 years in).
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dschulian Avatar
11 months ago
The 30% cut is way too high. PERIOD.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nikusak Avatar
11 months ago

Good, topple that monopoly, where Apple gets a 30% cut for providing nothing other than basic payment management (compared to apps that are generally free) for the sale of services it does not render.
Or, if trying to be consistent, charge Amazon 30% for material goods sold through their app as well.
They are consistent.

They take their cut only for digital goods, not physical goods.

30% is too much, but they are providing much more than “basic payment management”.

AppStore curation and running it isn’t free and neither is the R&D for all the developer tooling (which Apple of course needs internally but requirements for internal and external tooling are quite a bit different).

With Android it’s possible to sideload.

Care to mention any sideloading success stories?
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
johnnytravels Avatar
11 months ago
Good, topple that monopoly, where Apple gets a 30% cut for providing nothing other than basic payment management (compared to apps that are generally free) for the sale of services it does not render.
Or, if trying to be consistent, charge Amazon 30% for material goods sold through their app as well.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Ciclismo Avatar
11 months ago

I want to sell my stuff in your store without paying rent.
You mean:

„I have no choice put to give you 30% because if I don’t, you won’t let me sell my stuff in the only store. Also, feel free to change the rules any time you see fit and kill my entire business while you’re at it.”

If there were an option to sell apps, and content through those apps, without having to go the Apple, them you’re have a point, but both Apple and Google basically have a duopoly stranglehold and that’s just not healthy.

Imagine there were only two companies in control of all the supermarkets. Then imagine you produced groceries and had to pay 30% to be even able to sell your groceries? You’d be cool with that? Almost sounds like a protection racket to be honest.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

samsung experience 1

Samsung's 'iTest' Lets You Try a Galaxy Device on Your iPhone

Thursday April 8, 2021 12:42 pm PDT by
Samsung has launched "iTest," an interactive website experience that's designed to allow iPhone users to test out Android on a Galaxy device, or "sample the other side," as Samsung puts it. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. The iTest website is being advertised in New Zealand, according to a MacRumors reader who came across the feature. Visiting the iTest website on...
pixel watch prosser leak

Google Pixel Watch Allegedly Leaks with Circular Design, Rumored to Launch in October

Monday April 12, 2021 2:49 am PDT by
Renders of Google's first smartwatch, codenamed "Rohan," have been shared by Jon Prosser, showing that Google plans to adopt a circular design for its flagship wearable watch. Prosser shared the renders in an episode of his YouTube show "Front Page Tech," in which he claims they were made based on marketing material he had seen from a source within Google. The renders show that the Pixel...
AppleTV and HomePod Feature

Bloomberg: Apple Working on New Apple TV With Integrated HomePod Speaker and FaceTime Camera

Monday April 12, 2021 3:32 am PDT by
Apple is working on a combined Apple TV with HomePod speaker that has a camera for video calls through a connected television set, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. From the report: The company is working on a product that would combine an Apple TV set-top box with a HomePod speaker and include a camera for video conferencing through a connected TV and other smart-home functions,...
nba tracking prompt orange

Two-Thirds of iPhone Users Expected to Block Ad Tracking

Friday April 9, 2021 7:19 am PDT by
As many as 68 percent of iPhone users are expected to deny advertisers permission to track them thanks to Apple's App Tracking Transparency feature, in what is beginning to look like a significant blow to the advertising industry (via AdWeek). With the launch of iOS 14.5, apps will have to receive explicit user permission before accessing an iPhone's advertising identifier or IDFA, which is...
fake airpods 3

Counterfeit 'AirPods 3' Hit the Market Prior to Official Announcement

Friday April 9, 2021 2:45 am PDT by
Apple is expected to launch the third iteration of AirPods in the third quarter of this year. Rumors and reports suggest the new AirPods will feature an updated design more in line with the AirPods Pro, but lacking in "Pro" features such as active noise cancellation. Despite AirPods 3 not yet being officially announced by Apple, counterfeit products of the unreleased earbuds have already hit ...
Top Stories 56 Feature

Top Stories: 'Find My' Expansion, iPhone 13 Pro Mockup, Largest-Ever iMac?

Saturday April 10, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
Apple's AirTags may still be nowhere to be seen nearly two years after signs of them were first discovered, but Apple this week launched its Find My network accessory program that will let third-party devices integrate with the Find My app on Apple's platforms to make it easy to keep track of your items. This week also saw fresh rumors about the upcoming "iPhone 13" and new iMacs, while...
ehric

iPhone 12 Mini Missing From Top 5 Best Selling Smartphone List of January 2021

Friday April 9, 2021 4:58 am PDT by
According to market data compiled by Counterpoint Research, Apple's smallest iPhone since the 2016 iPhone SE, the iPhone 12 mini, struggled to obtain a spot in the top five list of best-selling smartphones in January of this year. According to the market data, the iPhone 12 mini came in eighth place for the best-selling smartphone worldwide in the first month of the year. However, the iPhone ...
sonny 2021 ipad mini pro dummies

Leaked Dummy Units Show iPad Mini 6 With Thick Bezels and Home Button, New iPad Pro Models

Thursday April 8, 2021 2:11 am PDT by
Rumors suggest Apple will release refreshed versions of the iPad mini and iPad Pro models in the first half of this year, potentially as soon as this month, and a new leak today has provided us with a possible preview of what to expect in terms of the devices' overall design and camera prospects. Tech leaker and Apple blogger Sonny Dickson this morning shared images on Twitter showing dummy ...
Google maps feaure green

Google Maps App for iOS Finally Updated After Four Months

Monday April 12, 2021 10:03 am PDT by
Following the completed rollout of App Privacy labels for its App Store apps, Google today updated the Google Maps app for the first time in four months. Apple in December began requiring all new app submissions and app updates to include App Privacy labels, detailing the data that is collected by the app so consumers know what they're sharing. Google didn't begin implementing App Privacy ...
epic iap feature 3

Tim Cook Says App Store Would Become a 'Flea Market' if Third-Party Payment Systems Were Allowed

Monday April 12, 2021 9:41 am PDT by
In a recent interview with the Toronto Star, Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke about a wide variety of topics, ranging from App Tracking Transparency to Apple's ongoing legal battle over App Store policies with Fortnite creator Epic Games. Notably, Cook said that Epic Games' desire for Apple to let developers offer their own payment systems in apps "would make the App Store a flea market":At the...