| Cult of Mac

UK regulator investigates accusation of collusion between Apple and Google

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Apple Google
Google and Apple are accused of colluding with one another.
Photo: Apple/Google

The U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority is looking into accusations of “collusion at a very senior level” against Apple and Google.

Online campaign group Marketers for an Open Web made the complaint. It says the two tech behemoths are “not competing head to head,” but rather working together when it comes to search.

The group points to documents uncovered in a U.S. Department of Justice lawsuit, including a 2018 internal email in which Apple and Google staffers discussed how they “work as if we are one company.”

Former App Store review boss says Apple creates ‘arbitrary’ rules to hurt rivals

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Apple Arcade game icons
Apple Arcade gets preferential treatment. Allegedly.
Photo: Apple

Ex-App Store review boss Phil Shoemaker told the congressional antitrust subcommittee that Apple creates “arbitrary” rules which it uses as a “weapon” against competitors. One such example is allowing Apple Arcade, while blocking Xbox Game Pass.

Shoemaker’s testimony appears in the antitrust subcommittee’s 449-page report published this week.

House antitrust report claims Apple wields ‘monopoly power’ over competitors

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Monopoly board game
Does Apple have too much power in its corner?
Photo: Kathy Marsh/Unsplash CC

The House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee revealed its recommendations for dealing with Big Tech Monday in a 449-page report, following 16 months of investigation.

While the report has recommendations for Amazon, Facebook and Google parent company Alphabet, it also focuses on Apple — and what needs to change to make Cupertino antitrust-compliant.

House antitrust report calls to ‘break up’ tech giants

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Should Apple take over the White House?
Could the U.S. government break up Big Tech?
Photo: MattCC716/Flickr CC

The U.S. House of Representatives antitrust report on Big Tech reportedly includes a “thinly veiled call to break up” the tech giants, according to a report by Reuters.

The House antitrust subcommittee could publish its report on Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Alphabet this week. However, while it’s not been published yet, it’s already causing controversy.

Facebook says Apple stopped it telling users about 30% in-app purchase ‘tax’

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Facebook owns 4 of the top 10 apps of the past decade
Facebook is also taking shots at Apple's App Store commissions.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Facebook claims Apple stopped it from telling users about the 30% commission that Cupertino takes from sales in a new online events feature.

According to a Reuters report published Friday, Apple said its rules stop developers from showing “irrelevant” information to users.

Eddy Cue emails confirm Apple’s deal to cut Amazon’s App Store fees

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Eddy Cue
Eddy Cue met with Jeff Bezos to talk about the deal.
Photo: CNBC

Apple agreed to halve its App Store fee for Amazon so the company would bring its Prime Video app to iOS and Apple TV, emails reveal (.pdf).

Apple exec Eddy Cue and Amazon boss Jeff Bezos personally negotiated the deal in 2016, it was revealed during Wednesday’s antitrust hearing looking into tech giants’ business practices. They agreed that Apple would get a 15% revenue cut from day one for customers who signed up through the app. Apple normally gets a 30% cut for the first year of an app’s subscription. It then claims a 15% commission for subsequent years.

Secure messaging app Telegram files antitrust complaint against Apple in EU

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Telegram logo
Telegram adds its voice to the chorus of developers complaining about Apple.
Photo: Telegram

Popular secure messaging app Telegram filed a formal antitrust complaint with the European Union over App Store practices, the Financial Times reports.

In a complaint addressed to EU competition chief Margrethe Vestager, Telegram’s creators argue that Apple must “allow users to have the opportunity of downloading software outside of the App Store.”

Apple once considered increasing App Store commissions to 40%

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app-store
Back in 2011, Eddy Cue suggested charging some developers significantly more than current 30% fee.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s 30% commission on certain apps is one of the main areas Apple CEO Tim Cook was grilled on during Wednesday’s U.S. House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee hearing.

However, according to internal emails revealed as part of the inquiry, Apple previously considered increasing its cut from 30% to 40% in some cases.

Tim Cook mostly avoids grilling during historic congressional antitrust hearing

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Tim Cook answers questions about App Store business practices.
Things didn't get too hot during Tim Cook's virtual visit to Capitol Hill.
Photo: C-SPAN

Apple CEO Tim Cook mostly avoided questioning during Wednesday’s historic congressional antitrust hearing on the business practices of Big Tech.

Cook took only a handful of questions from the House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee. Lawmakers directed most of their questioning — which capped a year-long investigation into antitrust issues — at Cook’s fellow CEOs from Facebook, Google and Amazon.

Tim Cook says Apple treats devs fairly in ‘street fight for market share’

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Tim Cook answers questions about App Store business practices during the House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee hearing.
Tim Cook answers questions about App Store business practices.
Photo: C-SPAN

Apple CEO Tim Cook defended App Store business practices and said his company treats all software developers equally as he faced questioning Wednesday in front of the House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee.

Cook said it’s in Apple’s best interest to treat devs fairly. The company wants the best and brightest to write iOS apps, he said, because killer software proves essential for a company engaged in a “street fight for market share in the smartphone business.”