Apple Continues to Challenge Epic’s Commission

What you should know


  • Apple has opened its iOS software ecosystem to third-party app stores and allowed users to replace the default Safari browser, under pressure from the European Union.
  • Lawsuits by Spotify and Epic Games against Apple’s practices have influenced EU mandates to promote competition and prevent monopolization of developer profits.
  • Despite these changes, Apple continues to charge a 27% fee on revenue generated through third-party links, which Epic Games argues undermines the court’s decision to allow alternative app stores and payment methods.
  • Apple defends its commission charges by highlighting its investment in the iOS platform and App Store’s safety and security, and the benefit developers gain from access to Apple’s consumer base.


Full Story

Apple’s been doing some fancy footwork lately. They’ve somehow managed to sidestep the hefty obligations that tagged along with the groundbreaking iOS 17.4 update. This update was a big deal because it cracked open Apple’s tightly sealed software ecosystem. All of this, mind you, under the looming threat of hefty fines from the European Union.

Over in Europe, iPhone users are having a bit of a field day. They’ve been given the green light to explore 3rd party app stores. Imagine that! And if they’re not fans of the default Safari browser? No problem. They can just swap it out for any other browser they fancy, like Google’s Chrome.

The push for these changes? Well, it didn’t just come out of thin air. Big names like Spotify and Fortnite’s creators, Epic Games, threw down the legal gauntlet. They argued that Apple’s tight grip on its ecosystem was stifling competition and hogging developer profits.

And Apple’s response? Well, it’s a bit petty, if you ask me. They’ve decided not to certify updates for Spotify’s app. As for Epic? They’re not exactly basking in victory either.

Despite resolving the issue with Fortnite and Epic’s developer account freeze, Apple’s found another way to pinch pennies. They’re imposing a 27% charge on any revenue coming from third-party links to their apps. Talk about finding a loophole!

This move by Apple? It pretty much dances around the spirit of the court’s decision. The court wanted to open the doors for alternative app stores and payment methods for iPhone and iPad users. Epic’s not having any of it, though. They’ve filed a protest motion, arguing that this fee is unjustified and stifles competition.

Apple, on the other hand, is playing it cool. They argue that charging a commission on transactions made through External Purchase Links is totally above board. They say it’s not only in line with the court’s injunction but also reflects the court’s reasoning for upholding Apple’s other App Store policies. Their argument hinges on the significant investments they make to keep the iOS platform and App Store secure. Plus, they point out that developers get to tap into Apple’s vast consumer base.

So, what’s next? It’s anyone’s guess how the court will rule on Apple’s commission charges. But one thing’s for sure: the EU’s mandate to open up the iOS ecosystem is just the beginning of this epic showdown for the soul of the iPhone’s software.

Derrick Flynn
Derrick Flynn
With over four years of experience in tech journalism, Derrick has honed his skills and knowledge to become a vital part of the PhonesInsights team. His intuitive reviews and insightful commentary on the latest smartphones and wearable technology consistently provide our readers with valuable information.


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