Microsoft believes that it is time that the regulators antitrust investigation in depth on the Apple App Store. Speaking during a Politico Interview this week, the legal director of Microsoft, Brad Smith, described the approach of the walled garden of Apple on its App Store and how it affects the competition.
“If you look at the industry today, I think you will find more and more that you see of app stores that have created walls are high and doors a lot more great for access to other applications that everything that existed in the industry 20 years ago,” says Smith. “They have requirements that say that there is only one way to access our platform, this is to go through the door that we ourselves have created. In some cases, they create a very high price for a toll, in some cases, 30% of all your income should go to the responsible for the toll if you want to.
Although Smith does not name the Apple, Bloomberg has confirmed with Microsoft that it referred specifically to the App Store.
This week could go down in history as a turning point for the Apple App Store. The manufacturer of iPhone has been caught up in an ongoing debate on its controversial decision to reject the new application e-mail Hey. Apple initially approved the application, but then decided that it was contrary to the rules of the App Store. Apple has been accused of acting as a monopoly and a bully by the chairman of the sub-committee on antitrust of the House.
The decision of Apple has highlighted the policies confusing Apple on the App Store, just as the european Commission announced an antitrust investigation official on the App Store and Apple Pay. This also occurs a few days prior to the annual conference of developers WWDC from Apple, which places the company in a difficult position to organize an event to encourage developers to create applications for its platforms.
“I believe that the time has come, whether we are talking about Washington DC or Brussels, for a conversation that was much more focused on the nature of the app stores, rules that are put in place, the price and the tools are extracted, and if there is really a justification in antitrust law for everything that has been created,” says Smith.
Microsoft obviously has experience and background in the anti-trust cases, after having been found guilty of abuse of monopoly related to its bundling Internet Explorer into Windows has about 20 years of age. Microsoft has finally been forced to open more Windows to third-party developers, and it has faced a more in-depth review of its practices for years. The european Commission went even further, ordering Microsoft to create a separate version of Windows without its Windows Media player and create a ballot for the consumers choosing the Web browser of their choice.
The investigation of the EU on the Apple App Store is in its infancy, it is therefore not clear what type of measures will be taken, but Microsoft is definitely up to the gap and encourages action. Microsoft has encountered its own problems with the Apple App Store. The software manufacturer has attempted to launch its app SkyDrive (now called OneDrive) for iPhones in 2012, but found himself in a battle for a reduction of 30% of revenues from purchases of cloud storage in the application. It was a scuffle minor, which was a test point for the launch of Office on iOS by Microsoft.
More recently, Microsoft has struggled to launch its streaming service games xCloud on iOS. The company has launched a pre-release version, but “to comply with the policies of the App Store, the application includes only a single game and is limited compared to the Android version. Microsoft has not revealed exactly why xCloud is limited by the policies of the App Store. Apple has previously revised its policies on the App Store during WWDC 2018 to allow mobile applications as the service of streaming of game Steam Link to Valve, but xCloud and Stadia of Google have not been able to run completely in the App Store.
While Microsoft objected to Apple about its policies on the App Store, it has also benefited from various promotions for its applications in the App Store. Microsoft also appeared on stage at WWDC last year to promote Minecraft Earthand the company has already presented at an Apple event to boast about the improvements made by the Office to iPhones and iPads.
Microsoft would benefit from a Apple App Store more open, both in terms of revenues and in the manner in which the company is able to design and launch applications. Microsoft adopted Android as the mobile equivalent of Windows, because of the many restrictions imposed by iOS and the policies of the Apple App Store. This investment in Android has led Microsoft to associate more closely with Google and Samsung, and launch applications such as Your phone to Windows 10, which is barely functional when it is associated to an iPhone.
Apple double its efforts to defend its policies on the App Store, but more and more companies are calling for change. Spotify has led the pack with a complaint antitrust in the last year, and now Epic Games, Rakuten, Match Group, Microsoft and others are expressing their feelings. These calls are likely to intensify as the EU will continue its investigations, but if there is something that we know about the struggles of Apple with the european regulators, is that he is not afraid to fight back.