Companies, including Spotify, Epic Games, form advocacy group to push for Apple App Store changes

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A group of leading software developers has joined together to form an autonomous non-profit association to persuade Apple and other software store owners to make improvements to their corporate practices.

The NPO called the Alliance for App Equity (CAF) comprises Spotify, the ‘Fortnite’ producer of Epic Football, Basecamp, and the ‘Tinder’ parent Match Party.

The other founder members of the CAF are Drordon, Blockchain.com, Deezer, Epic Gaming, the European Publishers Council, News Media Europe, Prepear, Protonmail, SkyDemon, Spotify, and Tile.

Three main issues:

The group highlights a variety of problems with the “gatekeepers” in-app stores, Apple in particular. It outlines three key problems with the Apple App Store, its ‘anti-competitive’ practices, the 30% ‘Download Fee’ imposed on in-app purchase developers, and the lack of user independence for iPhone applications (aka software) only accessible via the Download App Store.

“For years, software developers have been openly and privately voicing questions about the cumbersome and subjective terms and conditions that control the Apple App Store in particular, as well as last-minute iOS changes that are similarly harmful to developers,” reads the official statement.

“We are a champion for any company that is able to recover its rights and fight the anti-competitive activity that persists in app stores today,” said Tim Sweeney, CEO and ceo of Epic Games, which is reportedly in a legal dispute with Apple over Fortnite.

“The Apple IAP pressures customers to pay higher rates by inserting Apple between software developers and their users, leading to customer frustration and disappointment that has far-reaching consequences for our companies,” said Mark Buse, SVP and Head of Global Government Affairs & Strategy at Match Group.

Set of 10 principles

The CAF released a compilation of 10 “App Store Standards” to resolve these problems.

“Apple’s anticompetitive conduct is being prosecuted by law enforcement, regulators, and policymakers around the world, and the Software Transparency Alliance will be the voice of software and game creators in an attempt to protect user preferences and build an equal playing field for all,” said Horacio Gutierrez, Head of Corporate Affairs and Chief Legal Officer at Spotify.

The CAF called for businesses of every size or sector to join the initiative.

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