Apple explains App Store policies as it fights monopoly charges

By

Apple App Store principles
A direct appeal to the public.
Screenshot: Apple

Apple took the defense of its App Store practices directly to its consumers, launching a new web page as it prepares for a court battle over accusations claiming the company has monopolistic control over iOS apps.

The page appeared this morning on Apple’s website with the title “App Store, Principles and Practices.”

On it, Apple defends the app ecosystem as a supportive marketplace for developers and ups its pledge on making privacy and security top priorities.

App Store principles: ‘working hard to maintain integrity’

“It’s our store. And we take responsibility for it,” a section head declares in large, bold print.

The page follows a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on May 13 that allows an antitrust lawsuit to proceed. In Apple Inc. v Robert Pepper, the lawsuit claims Apple artificially drives up app prices by passing the cost of Apple’s 30 percent cut onto consumers.

In the case, Apple argued developers, not customers, should be allowed to sue. Apple is also having to defend itself against angry developers, whose complaints have been the source of antitrust investigations in Europe.

“When you download an app, it should work as promised, according to the page. “We carefully review each app and require developers to follow strict guidelines on privacy, design, and business models.

“As part of our rigorous app review process, we use a combination of automated systems and hundreds of human experts. This team represents 81 languages across three time zones. We work hard to maintain the integrity of the App Store.”

Apple says it reviews 100,000 apps per week, rejecting some 40 percent mostly because of bugs or privacy concerns.

The company also boosted the App Store as a boon to developers and job creation. Apple said app developers have earned more than $120 billion from selling “digital goods and services” in apps distributed by the App Store.

Apple says it only claims a commission from a developer when “digital good or service is delivered through an app.” It also spelled out the ways developers make money in the App Store and noted that 84 percent of all apps are free.

Developers, Apple said, get free marketing through the store, and are part of a competitive business environment created by the store.