Apple Sparks Outrage In US By Introducing 27% Fee On External Payments

Apple Sparks Outrage In US By Introducing 27% Fee On External Payments

Apple’s latest move only affects App Store users in the US.

Apple has sparked outrage in the United States by introducing a 27% fee on all in-app purchases made through external platforms. According to the BBC, the company updated its App Store policy on Wednesday to allow the use of external payment methods. This will now allow developers to link to additional payment methods aside from Apple’s own, but the tech giant will still collect a 27% cut of all transactions (12% for small developers) instead of the customary 30% or 15% for small developers. 

Now, this move by Apple has sparked outrage among consumers. According to the BBC, the digital music service app Spotify launched an outspoken attack on the new transaction Apple fees. It called Apple’s move “outrageous” and accused the tech giant of “stopping at nothing to protect its profits”.

“Once again, Apple has demonstrated that they will stop at nothing to protect the profits they exact on the backs of developers and consumers under their app store monopoly,” it said in a statement, as per the outlet. 

Currently, the move only affects App Store users in the US, but there are fears it could be introduced in the UK. In its statement, Spotify also urged the UK government to intervene. 

“The UK’s Digital Markets, Competition and Consumer Bill must put an end to this false posturing, which is essentially a recreation of Apple’s fees. We strongly urge UK lawmakers to pass the bill swiftly to prevent Apple from implementing similar fees, which will help create a more competitive and innovative tech industry for UK consumers and businesses,” it said. 

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Separately, as per Forbes, Tim Sweeney, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Fortnite developer Epic Games also blasted Apple’s 27% fees on external payments. He termed the changes as a “bad faith ‘compliance'” of the court order and called it an “anticompetitive” new tax. Mr Sweeney also said that Epic would contest the matter in court. 

Mr Sweeney also criticized Apple’s disclaimer for users choosing an external payment option, calling it a “scare screen.” Users who choose an external payment method are greeted with a message saying: “You’re about to leave the app and go to an external website. Apple is not responsible for the privacy or security of purchases made on the web”.

Notably, Apple introduced the fees in the US as a result of a long-running legal battle with Fortnite developer Epic Games.

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