Spotify and Epic form coalition to lobby against App Store monopoly

Spotify, Basecamp, Deezer, Tile, Epic Games and a number of other companies have formed a coalition to lobby together to regulate Apple’s monopoly over the App Store. According to the companies, Apple is abusing its power.

The lobby organization focuses on download stores in general, but does mention Apple and the App Store in particular in the announcement. The companies want fairer rules for publication in download stores such as the App Store and they are, among other things, turning against the flat rate of 30 percent for in-app payments that Apple applies.

In addition to Spotify, Deezer, Basecamp, Tile and Epic Games, there are more well-known companies, such as Tinder parent company Match Group, ProtonMail and News Media Europe. The coalition they set up is a non-profit organization, presumably with money from the companies involved.

Many of the companies have been speaking out against Apple’s monopoly over the App Store for some time. Some of the companies compete directly with Apple: Spotify and Deezer against Apple Music, for example. Apple has no competitor for Tile, but is rumored to launch a competing product this fall.

Apple’s most outspoken opponent is Fortnite creator Epic Games. Epic and Apple are in a legal battle. It started when Epic introduced its own payment system in August, after which Apple removed Fortnite from the App Store. Google did the same in its digital app store. With its own payment system, Epic circumvented the mandatory payment of 30 percent on payments, but Apple and Google are not allowed to have their own payment system. Not everyone pays 30 percent: Amazon gives 15 percent to Apple.

Subsequently, Epic Games filed a lawsuit against both parties over the monopoly of the two companies and the restrictions of the policy on third parties. In a previous preliminary ruling, a judge said Apple may block Fortnite, but the developer account Epic owns for the Unreal Engine should not be banned. This case between Apple and Epic will officially begin on September 28.