Just days after Basecamp co-founder and CTO David Heinemeier Hansson stated that a handful of companies like Google and Facebook have “colonized the web, and they’re choking it,” Hansson found his new email app banned from Apple’s app store.
The Verge reports that Basecamp co-founder and CTO David Heinemeier Hansson has been having trouble with the launch of his new Hey email service, partly proving a point he made earlier this week about the monopoly tech giants have over the internet.
Breitbart News reported earlier this week that Hansson stated: “A handful of companies have colonized the web, and they’re choking it.” In response to the growing control of these firms, Hansson and Basecamp co-founder and CEO Jason Fried recently launched a $99 per-year email service called Hey which aims to protect users from the invasive surveillance tactics that other Silicon Valley tech giants regularly use.
Hansson testified before Congress in January of 2020 about online platforms and market powers alongside three other technology business leaders. “At first I was a little cynical, to be honest, that I was just going to show up and deliver my little speech,” Hansson told Fast Company. “When you’re on Twitter a lot, you’re in the bubble of thinking that everyone is paying attention to the same things you know. Then you get into the real world. It felt like we were delivering new information to Congress.”
Now, Hansson is seeing his point proven in real-time. The Verge reports that after launching his new email service alongside Basecamp co-founder and CEO Jason Fried, Apple informed the Basecamp founders that in order to offer their app via Apple’s App Store, they must allow users to pay for Hey’s $99 a year subscription fee via iOS – giving Apple a 30 percent cut of the fee.
David Pierce at Protocol write that this is due to “rule 3.1.1 of Apple’s guidelines for app developers, which says in essence that if you want people to be able to buy stuff in your app, you need to do it using Apple’s payments system.” However, this rule appears to only be selectively applied, for instance users of the music app Spotify or video streaming app Netflix can pay for their subscription online and still use the apps on their iOS devices.
Apple has declined to comment on the issue but Hansson has been quite vocal about what he believes to be a major online monopoly. In a response to The Verge via Twitter, Hansson stated: “That’s exactly what monopolists always say! Take it or leave it! Because they KNOW you can’t leave it.” He went on to add:
They can get to essentially extract any cut they want. They’re under no market pressure to be competitive. This is Monopoly Squeezing 101.
As I said in my testimony before congress, why is it that credit card processing fees hover in the 1.8-2.8% range, while Apple’s App Store have sat steady at 30% on the high end? Because there’s no competition! And they have a monopoly grip!
There’s zero impetus on Apple to lower prices, stop being abusive, or even enforce their own policies with any sense of consistency or justice.
RecentlyMicrosoft 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 an interview with Politico: “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.”
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Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address firstname.lastname@example.org