It looks like the antitrust allegations against Apple will not end pretty soon. As per the latest reports, Telegram is the latest firm to file an antitrust complaint with the European Union (EU) against the tech giant. If Apple thought that its troubles might end post its antitrust reckoning, then it may not be the case, especially after fresh antitrust allegations against it put forth by Telegram.
For those who are unaware, on July 27, the CEOs of Apple, Google, Facebook, and Amazon were grilled by the House Judiciary Antitrust Committee in connection to the antitrust allegations filed against them by a few other firms. Each of the CEOs had to provide valid reasoning to prove that their monolithic platforms were in line with the antitrust laws. And now, closely following the heels of Spotify and Rakuten, Telegram has appealed to the EU to look into the App-Store’s businesses regarding its 30% commission and its lock-in policy.
One of the issues that these companies have highlighted before thrusting antitrust allegations against Apple is that the percentage of commission (30%) for app-store maintenance is too high. To top it up, users are not allowed to download apps from other sources, thereby disrupting competition.
On July 27, CEO and co-founder of Telegram, Pavel Durov, had posted an open letter in which the main issue was regarding the tech giant’s imposition of a 30% tax on all of its apps. The letter had made claims stating that the app-store maintenance costs are nothing compared to the amounts generated by Apple as a part of its revenue. There were also claims stating that nothing of this sort, such as the app-store fees, even existed during the computer era. Durov further stated that companies are unable to develop Android apps, owing to the steep size of the iOS’ install base.
The above allegations are simply trying to prove that Apple Inc is in no shortage of money. At this juncture, it is difficult to say whether the EU will take any action against Apple Inc in response to these allegations. One has to wait and watch how these events get unfolded. If Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice-President of the European Commission, has to present a strong case against Apple, then she would have to prove that Apple is playing an unhealthy competition and doing more harm than good to its users. But one thing is for sure – even if Telegram does not have strong points and arguments to nail Apple, every developer might use this opportunity as a weapon to hit against Apple.
Spotify’s antitrust allegations against Apple Inc
Spotify had filed an antitrust complaint against Apple Inc sometime in 2019. At that time, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek had gone on to state that Apple had tried to degrade Spotify via the Spotify app. Ek had stated that Apple had resorted to practices that led users to believe that Spotify was nothing compared to iTunes and Apple Music.
Ek was looking forward to Spotify being given equal importance, like Apple apps. Moreover, he wanted Apple to tone down its rule of paying for apps via its platform. And finally, Ek wished that Spotify should be allowed to directly interact with its customers regarding any deals and offers, which meant that Apple had to revoke the ban that it had imposed on apps. Due to this ban, apps were unable to interact with users.
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