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Tech Giants Unite Against Apple App Store Fees

Apple logo on Apple store

Meta, Microsoft, X, Spotify, and Match Group have filed petitions against the Apple App Store policies.

The tech giants have joined forces to criticize Apple's handling of a court mandate to permit alternative payment methods. 

This action aims to pressure Apple to relax its stringent App Store regulations.

These currently allow it to charge up to a 30 percent commission on in-app purchases. 

These companies, alongside Epic Games, argue against Apple's proposed 27 percent commission on transactions made outside the App Store.

The move is seen as Apple's attempt to maintain control over App Store revenues despite legal directives to provide payment alternatives.

This legal contention unfolds in the backdrop of a 2021 federal court decision, affirmed by the US Supreme Court's refusal to entertain Apple's appeal.

The ruling required the company to enable developers to offer customers different payment options. 

These alternatives could potentially lower costs for consumers, challenging Apple's monopoly over in-app purchases. 

Legal challenges argue Apple's actions neither adhere to the letter nor the spirit of the court's mandate

Apple announced a policy to comply with the ruling but imposed a 27 percent commission on external transactions.

It sparked outrage among developers and led to another legal challenge.

The group's joint amicus brief, submitted to the Northern California District Court, accuses Apple of circumventing the court's orders by effectively maintaining its original policy while introducing prohibitive restrictions on developers. 

They argue Apple's actions neither adhere to the letter nor the spirit of the court's mandate.

There are specific grievances including limited capabilities to promote alternative purchasing options.

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Individual filings highlight concerns over Apple's impact on business operations.

It includes Meta's ability to direct users to alternative payment methods for advertising services and Microsoft's, X's, and Match Group's challenges in offering subscriptions and discounts. 

They said Apple's policy stifles competition and hampers consumer choice and innovation.

Apple maintains that it has complied with the court order, defending its new policy as necessary for safeguarding user privacy and security. 

However, the Justice Department reportedly considering an antitrust complaint against Apple's broader business practices and developers.

The agency criticizes Apple's adherence to the new European Digital Markets Act as impractical.

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