Apple is under fire for its monopolistic and bully-like behaviour when it comes to its app store which is being described as a complete robbery at its best according to the chairman of the House antitrust subcommittee.
The Verge recently had a podcast that had Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) together with Basecamp CTO David Heinemeier Hansson to discuss the recent issues with Apple and its app store coupled with its exorbitant prices and so forth.
Apple is acting like a monopolist and a bully and many are displeased with the way it handles certain aspects especially when it comes to the app store.
Heinemeier Hansson during the Vergcast discussed in detail about the plight their company had to deal with while revealing Basecamp’s new $99-a-year premium email service.
Earlier this week, Hansson revealed that Apple had rejected the Hey iPhone app from the App Store because it didn’t offer any way to sign up and pay in the app itself — which would require giving Apple a 30 percent cut of the fee.
“Because of the market power that Apple has, it is charging exorbitant rents — highway robbery, basically — bullying people to pay 30 percent or denying access to their market,” said Rep. Cicilline.
“It’s crushing small developers who simply can’t survive with those kinds of payments. If there were real competition in this marketplace, this wouldn’t happen.”
Apple is charging exorbitant rents which are seen as highway robbery on its app store says, David Cicilline
For a long time now, there has been growing discontent from developers about how Apple runs the iPhone store, and the recent incident with Basecamp’s Hey app revealed the truth.
Developers from different companies have been voicing out their concerns to reporters and analysts about how they’re terrified of breaking Apple’s App Store policies or their apps face a possibility of being rejected which impacts their businesses.
“Many people have come forward to share their experiences, who are terrified of economic retaliation, who are afraid they can’t survive the economic retaliation that these large platforms can impose because of the power that they have, and we intend to pursue those allegations very seriously,” said Rep. Cicilline.
“This is a real problem in the marketplace. This is a direct consequence of enormous market power, the fact that Apple is the gatekeeper for these developers, and we have heard many, many examples.”
“No one has a choice,” added Heinemeier Hansson. “Everyone is petrified… and then I understood. If you’re a publicly-traded company, you cannot afford this. You cannot afford to file your earnings and say, ‘Oh, we just lost 50 percent of revenue last quarter because we had a spat with Apple.’ And if you’re a small developer, you can’t afford this literally because you will go broke — you will lose your house if they kick you out of the App Store.”
The question now remains, will Apple listen to the concerns of the developers or put on its usual proud face and act like it doesn’t care at all. A wrong move by the big tech company could see many developers in the future make a gradual shift to Google’s app store and other avenues for better opportunities and policy terms if they don’t act quickly.
To read more on the story, you can check it out here.
Author: Allan Bangirana
Allan Bangirana has a taste for all kinds of topics and usually writes about tech, entertainment, sports and community projects that make a difference in society.