This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl.
Tim Sweeney, CEO of Epic Games, known for popular games such as Fortnite, has developed a theory for CNBC that Apple's App Store has an "absolute monopoly" status and that Google is eliminating competing app stores by raising the bar on the UI side of Android smartphones if they don't use Google Play.
He criticized Apple and Google's app stores for their "absolute domination" of the mobile app market. Sweeney accused both companies of charging fees of as much as 30 percent, with few ways to distribute mobile apps other than through their app stores.
Epic Games launched the Epic Game Store for PC and Mac in 2018, charging 12% of the price as a sales commission. Despite the percentage difference, the company itself ends up charging a so-called "store tax", so you could say it's in the same boat. However, Sweeney blames Apple and Google for monopolizing the app supply chain for mobile devices that use their respective operating systems and preventing other independent stores from entering the market.
Sweeney told CNBC that Apple is "preventing an entire category of businesses and applications from being engulfed in their ecosystem by virtue of excluding competitors from each aspect of their business that they’re protecting," he said.
Sweeney told CNBC that Apple is preventing an entire category of businesses and applications from being engulfed in their ecosystem by virtue of excluding competitors from each aspect of their business that they’re protecting. Also on Android, he said, Epic was trying to bring its own game store to Android, but Google also has detailed terms and conditions that prevent competing app stores from entering the market.
As for Android, there is also a way to "side-load" an app without going through the Google Play store, this way you don't have to pay store taxes to Google and Epic previously offered the Fortnite installer for Android that way. However, it's difficult for consumers to install apps that don't use the Google Play Store, and when Google accused the installer of having a security flaw, Epic was eventually forced to supply Fortnite for Android on the Google Play Store as well, forcing it to pay up to 30% of its mobile app sales.
“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," Sweeney said.
Incidentally, Epic Games isn't the only company to accuse Apple and Google of monopolizing the app store. For example, music streaming service Spotify has filed an unfair competition lawsuit with the European Commission against Apple for violating the Unfair Competition Act, arguing that Apple will get full access to Apple Music's revenues in March 2019, while Spotify and other apps in the same industry will get a 30% store tax from paid plan fees, which is unfair competition and is trying to get them to raise their monthly fees.
This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl. The Japanese edition of Engadget does not guarantee the accuracy or reliability of this article.