The Anti-Apple crowd have formalized their alliance, with the usual suspects banding together to form the Coalition for App Fairness.
Formed by Epic Games, Spotify, Basecamp, Blix, Blockchain.com, Deezer, the European Publishers Council, Match Group, News Media Europe, Prepear, Protonmail, SkyDemon, and Tile, the non-profit is advocating for enforcement and reforms, including legal and regulatory changes, to deliver a level playing field for app and game developers that rely on app stores and the most popular gatekeeper platforms and preserve consumer choice.
“As enforcers, regulators, and legislators around the world investigate Apple for its anti-competitive behavior, The Coalition for App Fairness will be the voice of app and game developers in the effort to protect consumer choice and create a level playing field for all,” said Horacio Gutierrez, Head of Global Affairs and Chief Legal Officer at Spotify.
CAF says it is essential that all apps can compete fairly in order to drive innovation and ensure that the benefits of digital technologies are enjoyed by everyone.
“The basic freedoms of developers are under attack. We are joining the Coalition for App Fairness to defend the fundamental rights of creators to build apps and to do business directly with their customers. We are an advocate for any company that’s ready to reclaim its rights and challenge the anti-competitive behaviors that exist on app stores today,” said Tim Sweeney, CEO and founder of Epic Games.
CAF says for years app developers have been publicly and privately raising concerns about the onerous, and arbitrary terms and conditions that govern the Apple App Store in particular, as well as last-minute iOS updates, which equally disadvantage developers and et little has changed. And, as a result, frustrations have boiled over with formal complaints to regulators and lawsuits.
“Apple’s IAP forces consumers to pay higher prices by inserting Apple between app developers and their users, leading to customer confusion and dissatisfaction that has far-reaching implications for our businesses. Match Group joins the Coalition in its efforts to ensure everyone is able to enjoy the benefits of a fair app ecosystem,” said Mark Buse, SVP and Head of Global Government Relations & Policy at Match Group.
The CAF has been created to help address these concerns, protect the app economy, and ensure that the benefits of digital technologies are shared by everyone. There is a path forward that respects the role that platforms and app stores play while ensuring fairness and promoting innovation and consumer choice. The CAF has developed and published a set of 10 “App Store Principles” that address these issues. We believe the most popular platforms should adopt and follow them as they operate their platforms and app stores.
We are hopeful that the most popular platforms will voluntarily choose to adopt and follow similar principles. But we know from experience that self-regulation is not enough and that new laws and regulations are required in this case. The principles serve as a blueprint for modern laws and regulations and the Coalition will advocate for them with governments around the world.
“If Apple chooses to compete with developers on its platform, it should do so according to the same rules,” said Kirsten Daru, VP & General Counsel at Tile. “Instead, Apple leverages its platform to give its own services an unfair advantage over competitors. That’s bad for consumers, competition, and innovation. Tile joins the Coalition for App Fairness to level the playing field so developers can innovate in a fair marketplace and so consumers can benefit from true competition.”
The CAF is inviting other companies of any size, in any industry who are committed to protecting consumer choice, fostering competition, and creating a level playing field for all app and game developers globally to join their cause. Read more at appfairness.org.