But Epic doesn’t cut.
The very popular App Store price dispute between Apple and Epic Games is heading in a particularly interesting direction today as Apple has announced that it will cut prices for some developers. ..
The App Store Small Business Program will take effect on January 1st, reducing the fees for qualified developers from the standard 30% to 15%. The decision to halve the price should be of great benefit to indie and small developers, and Apple says the change will affect the “majority” of developers (via The Verge). .. New developers will qualify soon, but other developers will need to apply based on 2020 revenue.
This is a big change for the App Store, but it’s worth noting that it can reduce Apple’s revenue slightly. App analytics firm Sensor Tower estimates that the change will cover 98% of companies paying Apple, but these developers accounted for less than 5% of App Store revenue last year ( Via New York Times).
Of course, Epic Games was one of the loudest opponents of App Store pricing and launched a dramatic legal battle after introducing an alternative payment system to Fortnite mobile (as a result, Apple and Google Withdrew the game from the store). Ironically, Epic positions it as fighting on behalf of all developers, claiming that “exorbitant” 30% rates at Apple and Google stores are holding back competition. Nevertheless, they are not eligible for this new rate reduction. This move from Apple can make it difficult for Epic to claim defending small developers in proceedings. This seems to be mostly included in the reduction now. Epic has previously complained that Apple is blocking payment methods such as Mastercard and Paypal that charge 2.5-3.5%, but Epic may argue that this reduction isn’t enough. Hmm.
Of course, the pressure on Apple comes from sources other than Epic. The company’s App Store business practices are currently the focus of the European Commission’s antitrust investigation, but President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team has shown that he wants to enforce stricter antitrust laws. Increasingly in the United States (via Reuters). Earlier this year, the House Judiciary Committee released findings recommending Congress define new standards for antitrust violations, and the Biden administration was inaugurated and is now somewhat More likely-Although Republicans and Democrats are divided on how to take action (via The Verge).
Beyond the App Store payment dispute with Epic, Apple has received considerable enthusiasm from other companies, including Microsoft, this year after Apple blocked attempts to bring xCloud to iOS. Perhaps a little good publicity was urgently needed.
Meanwhile, Epic Games has brought discussions with Apple to an Australian court and has begun proceedings in a federal court in Australia. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Filing alleges that Apple violates Australian consumer law by preventing competition in the ecosystem for in-app payments and downloads. “This is another set of laws that clearly violates Apple’s practices, and another opportunity to really thoroughly investigate this issue,” Sweeney said today (Apple’s price changes announced. I told Herald (before). “Australia has a really big growing mobile software industry and there are many great game developers. They all suffer badly from Apple and Google’s 30% tax. In Australia, their own. I don’t think there is one developer who is making more money from the game. Then Apple and Google will make it from their game. “