Apple Under Fire Over Mobile App Monopoly
Tech and software giant Apple have since as recently as February this year, no fewer than 5 times rejected Facebook’s application to have its Facebook Gaming app included in Apple’s App Store. The fifth and most recent application request was earlier this month, after a consideration period lasting a couple of weeks, once again denied.
At least three people currently employed by Apple have anonymously leaked insider details surrounding the rejections. According to those who have spoken out, Apple has on each occasion cited the motivation behind the denials as being its commitment to the prohibition of apps with a main or exclusive focus on the distribution of casual games.
But according to those in the inside-know, there’s much more to Apple’s rejections of Facebook’s gaming app than the prior is trying to let on.
Protecting Revenue Interests
Two of the three insiders referred to Apple trying to hold on to its current monopoly over the exceptionally profitable world of mobile apps and software. The inclusion of Facebook’s gaming app on the iStore platform can reasonably be expected to delve right into Apple’s revenue bottom-line. And what a bottom-line it is too. Last year alone, Apple generated revenue to the tune of $15 billion from mobile games and apps alone. And it’s exactly this combination of revenue and monopoly-like behaviour that this week sparked an official European Union antitrust inquiry and investigation into Apple’s modus operandi.
And suffice to say, Facebook hasn’t been the only complainant in the antitrust department as far as Apple is concerned. Major software developer Basecamp earlier this week lodged a formal complaint over Apple’s rejection of its new email app, “Hey”. Apple had allegedly taken issue with the fact that Basecamp’s app charges its customers directly, i.e. outside of the scope of control of Apple’s own proprietary payments system. What this basically means is that if Apple were to offer Basecamp’s email app to users via the App Store, it will not be in a position to directly collect its usual 30% revenue cut.
According to Basecamp co-founder and CTO David Hansson, he has already been contacted by the EU’s Justice Department’s antitrust division as part of the mentioned competition inquiry.
Two Can Play That Game
Facebook is now considering its next move, which according to the mentioned insiders, involves the social media giant releasing Facebook Gaming on Apple devices without any playable games present.
Facebook Gaming launched worldwide on Google Play on April 20.