Microsoft believes it's time for antitrust regulators to fully investigate Apple's App Store. In this week's Polyterrico interview, Microsoft's chief legal officer, Brad Smith, explained the walled garden approach to Apple's app store and how it affects competition.
"As we look at the industry today, more and more app stores have been created that created higher walls and much more powerful gates to access other applications than existed in the industry 20 years ago," Smith says. “There is a growing demand for the only way to get into the platform, which is going through the gates we made. In some cases the tolls are very expensive. In some cases 30% of all income has to go to passersby.” While Smith did not reveal Apple's name, [Bloomberg confirmed that Microsoft is specifically referring to the App Store:
Apple's history this week could be a turning point in the Apple App Store, where iPhone makers were caught up in a constant debate over a controversial decision to reject the new Hey email app, which Apple initially approved for the app, but later App Store rules Apple was accused of acting as a monopoly and thug by the House of Representatives antitrust subcommittee
Apple's decision was as if the European Commission issued an antitrust investigation into the app. Paying attention to Apple's confusing App Store policies: Store and Apple Pay.In addition, it was inconvenient to host events to allow developers to create apps for the platform for days just before Apple's annual WWDC Developer Conference.
“Whatever we're talking about, I think it's here, Washington DC or Brussels: A more focused conversation about the nature of the App Store, the rules that apply, the prices and tools extracted, and whether there is legitimacy for antitrust laws against antitrust laws, Smith said.
Microso ft has had experience and history of antitrust cases after being convicted of antitrust violations related to Internet Explorer bundles on Windows almost 20 years ago. Microsoft ultimately had to open more Windows to third-party developers and scrutinized its practices for years. The European Commission ordered that Microsoft create a separate version of Windows without the bundled Windows Media Player and create a browser vote to help consumers choose which web browser they want.
The European Union's Apple App Store survey is still in its infancy, so what I'm not sure if to take action, but Microsoft certainly sits on the sideline and encourages action. Microsoft faced its own issues with Apple's App Store. The software manufacturer attempted to launch the SkyDrive (now OneDrive) app for iPhone in 2012, but has cut more than 30% of its revenue from in-app cloud storage purchases. It was a minor issue, a test point for Microsoft to release Office on iOS.
Recently, Microsoft has been fighting to launch xCloud game streaming service on iOS. The company has released a preview version, but only includes a single game "to comply with the App Store policy" and is limited compared to the Android version. Microsoft didn't say exactly why xCloud is limited by App Store policies. Apple previously revised its App Store policy to allow mobile apps, such as Valve's Steam Link game streaming service, at WWDC 2018, but neither xCloud nor Google Stadia could fully launch from the App Store.
While Microsoft crashes with Apple about the App Store policy, you can benefit from various app promotions on the App Store. Microsoft appeared on stage at WWDC last year to promote Minecraft Earth which previously appeared to promote office improvements on the iPhone and iPad at Apple events.
App Store on sales and how companies can design and run apps. Due to many restrictions on iOS and Apple's App Store policy, Microsoft is adopting Android as its equivalent mobile app to Windows. These Android investments have allowed Microsoft to partner more closely with Google and Samsung and have been able to launch apps like Phone for Windows 10 that rarely work when paired with iPhone.
Apple is now doubling the App Store policy defense, but more and more companies are demanding change. Spotify led this pack with complaints about antitrust last year, and now Epic Games, Rakuten, Match Group, Microsoft, and others are telling their feelings. As the European Union continues to investigate, these currencies are expected to get bigger, but if we know anything about Apple's fight against European regulators, we won't be afraid to counterattack.