Epic to launch iOS and Android store with controversial 12% cut

Ryan Daws is a senior editor at TechForge Media, with a seasoned background spanning over a decade in tech journalism. His expertise lies in identifying the latest technological trends, dissecting complex topics, and weaving compelling narratives around the most cutting-edge developments. His articles and interviews with leading industry figures have gained him recognition as a key influencer by organisations such as Onalytica. Publications under his stewardship have since gained recognition from leading analyst houses like Forrester for their performance. Find him on X (@gadget_ry) or Mastodon (@gadgetry@techhub.social)

In the ongoing saga of tech giants battling over App Store fees and policies, Epic Games is being accused of hypocrisy as it attempts to introduce its own 12 percent commission store.

The gaming company – joined by heavyweights like Meta, Microsoft, X, and Match Group – is protesting against Apple’s handling of App Store fees and its anti-steering policy in California.

Following a series of legal battles between Apple and Epic, which mostly ended in Apple’s favour, a recent ruling forced Apple to comply with ending its anti-steering policy. However, the implementation of this change has left many developers dissatisfied.

A report from The Wall Street Journal reveals that Meta, Microsoft, X, and Match Group have joined Epic in filing an amicus brief against Apple’s new policies. The crux of their argument lies in Apple’s insistence on a minimum 12 percent commission on all digital products sold, even if the purchase occurs outside the App Store.

The amicus brief criticises Apple’s approach, stating that it undermines the court’s mandate and makes it impractical for developers to opt for the new system over in-app purchases. The impact of these policies, according to the companies, will affect thousands of developers and millions of users.

However, amidst the outcry against Apple’s policies, critics are quick to point out the apparent hypocrisy of Epic, Microsoft, and Meta. Microsoft, with its Xbox console and game store, operates a walled garden with fees similar to Apple’s. Similarly, Meta imposes comparable charges for its Quest platform.

Epic Games, despite leading the charge against Apple, is not without its own fees. The company recently announced plans to bring the Epic Games Store to iOS and Android, boasting of a 12 percent commission after six months commission-free. This mirrors the reduced commission rate that Epic is contesting.

The conflicting stances of these tech giants highlight the complexities of the ongoing debate surrounding app store policies and fees. While developers seek fair treatment and lower fees, the actions of companies like Epic raise questions about their true motivations and the need for regulatory oversight.

As the battle rages on, it remains to be seen how lawmakers will address the concerns of both developers and platform owners. In the meantime, Apple is facing increasing EU scrutiny for actions such as terminating Epic’s developer account—which it has since reinstated:

(Photo by Joshua Hoehne)

See also: Spotify cries foul over Apple’s app review process

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