- News publishers of digital content have written to Apple CEO Tim Cook highlighting the Apple-Amazon deal.
- It was disclosed at the US congressional meeting that Apple favours Amazon by charging it only 15 per cent of its revenue.
- Apple App Store rules have been criticised because with the commission cut, there is also competition from Apple’s apps.
In a letter addressed to Apple CEO Tim Cook, news publishers of digital content companies asked what would be required of them to receive the same deal that Apple has with Amazon. Apple charges a 30 per cent cut from companies to list their apps on the App Store for the first year and then halves it to 15 per cent. However, in the recent US congressional antitrust meeting, it was disclosed that Apple showed a bias towards Amazon.
Internal emails between Apple and Amazon revealed there was a more favourable deal between Amazon chief Jeff Bezos and Apple services chief Eddy Cue. As per a report by Bloomberg, Apple and Amazon agreed on a 15 per cent revenue share for Amazon Prime Video customers who signed up through the Apple App and no revenue share for users who already subscribed via Amazon or elsewhere, the emails showed. The deal dates back to 2016, The Verge noted.
"We would like to know what conditions our members — high quality digital content companies — would need to meet in order to qualify for the arrangement Amazon is receiving for its Amazon Prime Video app in the Apple App Store," Digital Content Next CEO Jason Kint, wrote in the letter to Cook, WSJ noted.
Digital Content Next is a digital media trade association of newspapers, magazines, broadcasters and websites that rely on subscriptions for much of their revenue. These include The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, Bloomberg LP, Vox media, etc.
Apple's 30 per cent cut has been a topic of contention for quite sometime now. Apple App Store's commission policy is considered unfair by many because with the commission, there is also competition from Apple's apps. Apple CEO Tim Cook, in the US Congressional AntiTrust meeting, said, "We treat every developer the same. We have open and transparent rules." He also said that a vast majority of apps, around 84 per cent do not pay commission to Apple.
Last month, Telegram moved the European Commission over Apple's 30 per cent commission cut for listing developer apps on Apple App Store. The 30 per cent Apple tax is also infamous among gaming apps. Earlier this month, Apple had refused to list games from Microsoft's Game Pass, Google's Stadia, and Facebook's Gaming App on App Store. This is because the tech giants did not submit individual games to Apple for a review.
The most recent feud over Apple Store policies is between Fortnite and Apple. Apple removed Epic Games' battle royale Fortnite from the App Store after the developer implemented its own in-app payment system.