Elon Musk’s rivalry with Apple came to a head yesterday when he took to Twitter to express his frustration with the tech giant. His tirade may have given Spotify and Epic Games, the owners of Fortnite, some relief as they’ve been vocal about their own issues with App Store fees. According to Reuters, Apple charges a 30% fee for all apps on its store.
Musk was critical of the fees that Apple imposes on software developers for in-app purchases, and indicated he would rather “go to war” than pay them.
Elon Musk also noted that Apple had threatened to remove the Twitter app from its App Store. While he didn’t give a specific reason, it’s safe to say that Apple wasn’t happy with the way Twitter was being used.
After Twitter’s purchase last month, Musk has let it be known that he plans to start charging users $8 a month for a verification mark on the site. This is to help his profitability and prevent bankruptcy.
Spotify has filed monopoly complaints against Apple in Europe, and Epic Games sued the iPhone maker in the United States in 2020.
The European Commission is investigating whether Apple violated its rules after Spotify filed an antitrust case against the company in 2019.
If Apple is found breaching EU antitrust rules, it risks being fined 10% of its global sales.
Luke Sadrads, an analyst at investment statistics firm Finimize, said that by threatening to pull Twitter from its App Store, Apple was “playing a dangerous game.”
If Twitter launches the lawsuit, it’s highly possible that Musk is already planning to countersue. We have seen in the past how active he was in using the courts during his purchase of Twitter, so it would not be a shock if he took similar action now.
Earlier this month, Epic Games – a company that focuses on the video game industry and created the popular game “Fortnite” – asked a 3-judge US Federal Appeals Committee to overturn some of a lower court’s antitrust ruling in favor of Apple.
Apple said that its commission model helps to fund app reviews and ensure that consumers are not using fraudulent, pornographic or privacy-intrusive apps.
Concerning— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 26, 2022
According to Spotify CEO Daniel Eck, “Apple continues to harm competitors, has a huge influence over consumers and app developers, and now authors and publishers. If policymakers don’t take action soon, nothing will change.”
However, some analysts are concerned that if Twitter gets into a fight with Apple, more users will abandon Twitter.
“Musk’s desire to start the same old arguments between Apple and developers will only turn Twitter users away,” said analyst Paolo Pescatore of PP Foresight.
“People will not give up their iPhones. They are accustomed to subscribing to various social media platforms, but they only ever use one phone when engaging with these networks,” he added.