Elon Musk sides with Epic Games, calls Apple’s App Store fees ‘de facto global tax on the Internet’

By: |
August 02, 2021 3:39 PM

At the moment, Apple and Epic Games are in a legal battle after Fortnite-developer Epic Games sued the iPhone maker for being allegedly unfair and anti-competitive.

Notably, Google also has a similar policy and it also removed Fortnite, following in Apple’s footsteps. (File image)

Elon Musk: Tech mogul Elon Musk has taken a side in the whole Apple versus Epic Games issue, and he has sided with… Epic. Last week, the tech mogul on Twitter flatly denied ever having spoken to Apple CEO Tim Cook, while he was responding to a story that alleged that Musk was demanding that he take over as the CEO of the iPhone maker as part of an acquisition offer. Not only did he deny that allegation, he also cleared any doubts regarding it, and how. In a tweet on the ongoing Epic Games vs Apple feud, Musk spoke out against Apple’s App Store policy, claiming that “Epic is right”.

“Apple app store fees are a de facto global tax on the Internet,” the tech mogul wrote.

Also read | Apple asserts commanding lead in tablet shipments in Q2 2021, latest IDC figures show

At the moment, Apple and Epic Games are in a legal battle after Fortnite-developer Epic Games sued the iPhone maker for being allegedly unfair and anti-competitive by requiring developers to use only the App Store payment gateway for any in-app purchases of digital assets, and then charging a 30% commission on it. Epic Games had tried to flout this rule and incorporated its own third-party payment gateway in its popular game Fortnite, shortly after which, Apple removed the game from App Store for policy violation.

Epic Games then filed an antitrust lawsuit against the tech giant, and in the ongoing legal battle, Apple said that it did not allow third-party app downloads because that could compromise the safety of iPhone for the users.

Merely 15 minutes after Musk put out his tweet supporting Epic, Epic Games Founder and CEO Tim Sweeney tweeted out a post targeting Apple, possibly in an attempt to leverage the spotlight from Musk’s millions of followers. Sweeney wrote, in somewhat of an exaggerated jibe, “The Apple Tax is far more pernicious than many realise. “It only applies to digital goods accessible on iOS,” they say — but in the future all physical goods will have a digital presence, and Apple will tax and gatekeep world commerce. Apple must be stopped.”

Notably, Google also has a similar policy and it also removed Fortnite, following in Apple’s footsteps. This led to Epic Games also suing Google, but the case is moving at a slower pace than the Apple one, in which Epic Games and Apple went head-to-head during hearings in May. The verdict in the case is still awaited.

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