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Elon Musk says Apple is charging a global internet tax – Times of India

July 31, 2021

Elon Musk, founder and CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, slammed Apple for charging developers a high 30% fees for distributing apps through Apple App Store while he showcased full support to Fornite creator Epic Games. Musk called the App Store fees as a “de facto global tax on the Internet” and also said that Epic Games is right to fight back Apple.
The fight between Apple and Epic Games heated up when Apple kicked out Fortnite game from the App Store, last year in August, for violating policies after Epic Games started using its own payment system.
While Musk said that he likes using Apple devices, he feels that Apple is “overcharging with App Store”. “I mean 30% fees for doing almost zero incremental work is completely unreasonable. Epic wouldn’t bother processing their own payments if App Store fees were fair,” he tweeted.

What Epic Games wants

Epic Games lobbyists have been trying to pass a bill that will allow iPhone users to download iOS apps on the iPhone without going through the App Store. Like Google allows third-party app stores and apk file installation, the lobbyists want a similar thing for iPhones as well. The bill also wants companies like Apple to not “retaliate against a developer for choosing to use an alternative application store or in-application payment system.”

While the lobbyist may debate that it’s monopolistic behaviour by Apple to strictly control app developers, for the end users it may be seen as a blessing in disguise simply because it safeguards iPhone users from rogue apps, malware and privacy issues.
When compared to Android, while the open nature has helped the platform grow immensely we can’t deny that it has allowed entry to countless rogue developers and apps.
Even Apple employee feels 30% is too much
Epic Games, the developers of Fortnite, earlier presented a 10-year-old email to Steve Jobs from Apple’s marketing chief Phil Schiller as evidence to fight Apple in court. The mail from Schiller to Jobs and Eddy Cue (head of services) talks about reducing the App Store commission that Apple charges developers from 30% to 20%.
Schiller asked whether Apple can continue with the “70/30 split” forever in the mail. The split refers to the 30% fees that Apple charges developers for paid apps, purchases made inside the app along with subscriptions. While Schiller made it clear that he is a “staunch supporter” of the fees, he was not confident that the 30% cut can remain “unchanged forever”.

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