Microsoft President Brad Smith has called for antitrust regulators to focus on rival tech giant Apple in a recent interview.
In a recent interview with Politico Microsoft President Brad Smith discussed tech rival Apple and how antitrust regulators should focus on the company following recent controversy about the firm’s App Store pricing and policies. Smith believes that it’s time for Apple’s App Store, and the app store of other companies, to face regulation.
Smith stated in the interview: “I do believe that the time has come, whether we are talking about D.C. or Brussels, for a much more focused conversation about the nature of app stores, the rules that are being put in place, the prices and the tolls that are being extracted and whether there is really justification in antitrust law for everything that has been created.”
Smith noted that Microsoft has faced its own antitrust issues throughout the years but believes that its time for international agencies to examine Apple closely: “Contrast that with what we’re seeing in terms of other app store practices. They impose requirements that increasingly say there is only one way to get on to our platform and that is to go through the gate that we ourselves have created. In some cases they create a very high price or toll — in some cases 30% of your revenue has to go to the toll keeper.”
Smith pointed out that Microsoft has its own app store and if a user installs an app through a campaign ID link, such as a link hosted on the developer’s site, developers pay a 5 percent fee. If the user installs an app directly through the Microsoft app store, that fee grows to 15 percent. But Smith claims that this situation is different for mobile platforms.
“If you look at the industry today, I think what you find is increasingly you’re seeing app stores that have created higher walls and far more formidable gates than anything that existed in the industry 20 years ago,” Smith stated.
Rep. David Cicilline, the house antitrust committee chair, recently sat down with the Verge and Basecamp CTO David Heinemeier Hansson, one of the developers of the Hey email app, to discuss Apple’s App Store. Cicilline stated during the interview: “Because of the market power that Apple has, it is charging exorbitant rents — highway robbery, basically — bullying people to pay 30 percent or denying access to their market. It’s crushing small developers who simply can’t survive with those kinds of payments. If there were real competition in this marketplace, this wouldn’t happen.”
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