Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney lambasts Apple and Google for their App store policies charging 30% commission from developers
With the dates for House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee hearings nearing, there has been a storm of criticism directed against Apple for its App store policies. Earlier we had Pavel Durov of Telegram who wanted legislation enacted to make Apple allow iPhone to install independent Apps stores. Now, Epic Games CEO, Tim Sweeney has joined the crowd.
Sweeney castigated both Apple and Google for their monopolistic App store policies. Both Apple and Google charge a 30% commission from developers offering paid/premium or in-App services. Sweeney says that both the tech giants have built app stores that are entirely based on the idea of monopoly.
Sweeney called Apple an absolute monopoly. In an interview with CNBC, Sweeney says Apple has invented “an absolute monopoly,” while Google crushes competition stores with “UI barriers.” He says that the 30% fee charged by both Apple and Google are unrealistic and emphasized that these charges only increase the price of the apps and games.
Epic Games has a bad history with App stores, especially with Google Play Store. It had earlier Fortnite for Android smartphone as an APK to beat Google’s 30% commission fees. However, when Fortnite players complained that installing the APK was too complicated, Epic Games relented and published it on Google Play Store paying Google the 30% commission as mandated.
“Google essentially intentionally stifles competing stores by having user interface barriers and obstruction. If every developer could accept their own payments and avoid the 30% tax by Apple and Google we could pass the savings along to all our consumers and players would get a better deal on items. And you’d have economic competition,” Sweeney told CNBC.
He was also very fierce on Apple. “Apple has locked down and crippled the ecosystem by inventing an absolute monopoly on the distribution of software, on the monetization of software,” Sweeney told CNBC’s Julia Boorstin.
This is not the first time Sweeney has lashed out against Google. In February 2020 during a keynote address to the DICE Summit game event in Las Vegas, he had called Google’s Android a “fake open system” for putting up barriers in front of users.
The representatives of tech giants, including Apple CEO Tim Cook, will be testifying in a Congress hearing for their anti-trust behavior. Brad Smith, President and Legal Officer of Microsoft has already had a private meeting with the anti-trust committee members in which he complained about Apple’s App store commission.