May 27, 2024

Elon Musk has slammed Apple for its App Store commission that it charges from developers, in response to an article posted on Twitter about the European Union’s fresh antitrust complaint against the iPhone maker. Musk said that it is “definitely not ok” and likened the commission to a 30 percent tax on the Internet. Last year, the Tesla CEO publicly favoured Fortnite maker Epic Games in the lawsuit filed by it against Apple for allegedly abusing its dominance in the mobile apps market.

In a series of tweets posted in response to the article highlighting his former company PayPal’s reported role in spurring the latest European Union’s case against Apple, Elon Musk expressed his disagreement with the App Store commission. He said that it is “literally 10 times higher than it should be.”

“Apple’s store is like having a 30 percent tax on the Internet. Definitely not ok,” he tweeted.

This was notably not the first time when Musk showed his dissent with Apple and compared its App Store commission with a de facto global tax on the Internet. The billionaire in July last year also said that the 30 percent fee that the iPhone maker charges from developers was “completely unreasonable.” He had also taken a dig at Apple during Tesla’s earnings call a week before by calling its tech ecosystem a “walled garden.”

Musk’s criticism isn’t the only censure against Apple for its App Store commission. Regulators around the globe have, in fact, pressured the company to rework on its fees that it charges from developers for selling subscriptions or in-app purchases on their apps through the App Store.

In 2020, Apple announced the App Store Small Business Programme that came into force starting the late December of the year to reduce its commission to 15 percent for developers who earn up to $1 million (roughly Rs. 7.63 crore) in annual sales of all their apps. Antitrust officials and lawmakers in various countries are, though, yet to be convinced by the move.

Apple in February faced a fourth fine in the Netherlands for failing to allow third-party payment systems for dating apps on the App Store. Last year, South Korea also warned of a possible investigation into the company’s compliance over the restriction of allowing payment solutions other than its own.

Nevertheless, Musk’s fight with Apple is not limited to the App Store commission. He back in 2015 called the company the “Tesla Graveyard” — for hiring the carmaker’s engineers to work on what is long rumoured as the Apple Car.