Apple hits back at ‘anti-competition’ criticism of its App Store

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Apple has published a defense of its App Store practices amid mounting criticism over its dominance on the platform and treatment of its rivals.

The firm has come increasingly under fire as rivals including Spotify speak out against its anti-competitive practices; the claims have prompted an investigation by the European Union and an antitrust lawsuit under the Supreme Court.

In a blog post published on Wednesday, Apple attempts to quash developers’ complaints by detailing the opportunities it provides, as well as the competing apps it hosts on the App Store. 

Central to Spotify’s complaint is a 30% fee Apple charges content-based service providers to use Apple’s in-app purchase system (IAP).

The firm publicly defended its App Store in a the new page, detailing its functions and guidelines.

‘Today, the App Store is more vibrant and innovative than ever, offering equal opportunities to developers to deliver their apps and services across iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple TV, and Apple Watch,’ Apple says on the new page. 

‘We’re proud of the store we’ve built and the way we’ve built it.’

In a section called ‘Principles and Practices’, Apple defended its practices, saying developers decide what they want to charge from a set of price tiers.

‘We only collect a commission from developers when a digital good or service is delivered through an app,’ Apple said.

‘We also care about quality over quantity, and trust over transactions. That’s why, even though other stores have more users and more app downloads, the App Store earns more money for developers.’ 

‘Our users trust Apple – and that trust is critical to how we operate a fair, competitive store for developer app distribution,’ it added.

The post, which comes ahead of Apple’s annual developer conference in Silicon Valley next week, also welcomed competition.

‘We believe competition makes everything better and results in the best apps for our customers,’ Apple said.

Earlier this month, the U.S. Supreme Court also gave a go-ahead to an antitrust lawsuit accusing Apple of forcing consumers to overpay for iPhone software applications, again related to its 30% commission on purchases.

The Cupertino, California-based technology company also said it provided a fair marketplace for 20 million developers in its Apple Developer Program.

Apple has been able to avoid much of the antitrust scrutiny faced by other technology firms, largely by arguing that it does not have a dominant position in the many markets in which it operates, from smart phones and laptops to streaming music services.

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