“The App Store is not a service. The App Store is doing developers a disservice,” Epic CEO Tim Sweeney says in his latest interview with The Financial Times. In his never-ending fight against Apple’s (and Google’s) so-called App Store monopoly, the Fortnite owner takes on Cupertino politics and calls Facebook an ally on the metaverse.
Last year, after Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers ruled that the App Store and its guidelines did not violate antitrust laws in the Epic v. Apple case, Epic CEO Tim Sweeney was found guilty of know more than the district judge as he said she “made a mistake”. on his decision.
Since then, Sweeney has taken on Apple’s App Store policies, particularly when the company failed to maintain the store as a safe place for users due to widely available rogue apps.
In a long interview with The Financial Timeshe talks about his vision for the Metaverse with Fortnite, Apple’s App Store policies and Meta’s vision for the Metaverse while calling him an ally – although he could sue the company for monopoly in the future.
Apple App Store as “a bad service”, according to Epic’s CEO
Yesterday, Apple released two independent research showing that the iOS app economy now supports more than 2.2 million jobs in the US and a 118% increase in income for small US developers over the past two years, what Epic’s CEO calls a disservice to developers.
The App Store is not a service. The App Store is doing developers a disservice. The App Store forces developers to treat their software poorly to provide customers with a poor experience to charge uncompetitive handling and processing fees to inflate the price of digital goods. It’s a bizarre ploy that should never have been created…it should have been reversed as soon as the industry started gaining momentum.
Tim Sweeney says that while Apple has the right to profit from hardware — “as a company, they’ve won fairly in one market: hardware” — it can’t do the same with software. Again, he calls the 30% cut a monopoly since PayPal charges 3% and Visa and Mastercard 2%.
The problem here is a classic monopoly tie. You start with the hardware. Apple makes smartphones and profits from their smartphones – and they deserve it. But then they force all of their smartphone buyers to use their app store exclusively to get digital content. They prevent all other app stores from competing with them on hardware owned by a billion end users. It’s the first tie and it completely hampers all competitive and market forces that would shape better app stores and better deals for consumers. And then the next link is that Apple requires all apps in its App Store to use its payment processing service for digital goods.
“Current Monopolies Will Use Their Power To Become Next Monopolies,” Epic CEO Says
Sweeney is “terribly afraid” that “current monopolies will use their power to become the next monopolies on new generations of platforms.” But, for some reason, while Apple and Google all look bad, he says Meta has two sides.
On the metaverse side, Meta “articulated a really interesting vision”. and it’s not “building a meta walled garden, they’re trying to contribute standards and practices that lead to an open metaverse.”
On the other hand, Sweeney says Meta controls the ad economy and the revenue share for creators is very low. But since this isn’t about Epic’s business, Sweeney doesn’t once call the company a monopoly, as he states:
Currently, Meta does not have a monopoly or even a large user base in the core businesses in which Epic competes or intends to compete. . . Meta doesn’t do anything that chokes us at all. One would have to speculate on the future. But, overall, I’m incredibly happy and impressed with the degree of investment he’s making in developing a future hardware platform.
The 9to5Mac take
The Epic CEO’s vision shows why the district judge overturned his App Store monopoly claims since Sweeney isn’t trying to stop Apple or Google but to stop the companies from slashing his profits with Fortnite and its future metaverse.
In the FT interview, it’s possible to see that companies are allies of Epic as long as they don’t interfere with its leadership in a market. As a company, it’s not bad at all to become a leader in a segment or to strive to get the most out of it, but after the last few years of Epic’s antitrust case against Apple, we have almost feels like the CEO of Epic is screaming on a cloud whenever others aren’t playing what he thinks is right.
The full interview is worth reading; just click here.
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