Tim Sweeney took to Twitter to show his support for the new EU probe into Apple’s possible antitrust behavior. After the European Commission this week opened investigations into the App Store and Apple Pay this week to see if its practices were anti-competitive.
“Here Apple speaks of a level playing field. To me, this means: All iOS developers are free to process payments directly, all users are free to install software from any source. In this endeavor, Epic won’t seek nor accept a special deal just for ourselves,” said the Epic CEO in reference to comments made to the Washington Post by Apple.
“It’s disappointing the European Commission is advancing baseless complaints from a handful of companies who simply want a free ride, and don’t want to play by the same rules as everyone else. We don’t think that’s right — we want to maintain a level playing field where anyone with determination and a great idea can succeed,” said Apple’s Josh Rosenstock.
However, not all companies are paying the full cut for services rendered via the app. Uber rides and Airbnb rentals are obvious examples, though as distinctly physical services which are accessed digitally they are somewhat different. But Apple has also given preferable terms to Amazon movie rentals, most likely to fend off anti-competitive legal moves from the company. Epic was clear here that it wouldn’t be looking for a sweetheart deal in this case.
“Consoles are unique in that the hardware is sold at or below the cost of manufacturing, and is subsidized by software sales, whereas iOS and Android are insanely profitable…”
Sweeney has long been critical of Apple’s closed-garden approach to selling content on iOS devices, with Epic paying 30 per cent of all its Fortnite revenue to the platform of course. It’s joined by dating form Match and music giant Spotify in backing the EU investigation.
Of course similar fees apply for those wanting to sell content on console platforms, but Sweeney doesn’t think the console market is the same, though he can imagine a future were digital ownership across the various platforms could be improved.
“Consoles are unique in that the hardware is sold at or below the cost of manufacturing, and is subsidized by software sales, whereas iOS and Android are insanely profitable for Apple and Google from just hardware sales and ads.
“So I don’t have a problem with the concept of console platform fees. Consoles could ultimately benefit from richer store ecosystems though. What if some day you could purchase a game once and own it on all platforms that support the game, PC, console, and mobile?”