Developers and resist ­app store operator under pressure

Apple managers as witnesses in court, public superhore and insights into internal mails: The action of the players Epic against Apple is truly a spectacle. The beginning of May in San Francisco released process for Epics game "Fortnite" and Apple’s app store rules are expected to decide at the end of the month. EPIC poses Apple’s abuse of a dominant position and wants to sell its content on iPhone users without delivering 30 percent of the turnover to Apple. Still is open how the procedure goes out.

But even if Apple was supposed to prevail: The iPhone manufacturer was allowed to do not come through with its rigid app store rules and its 30 percent commission anymore. Because also competitions and politics increase the prere on the iPhone Group and other platform operators.

Also vestors make prere

Young example is a decision of the EU Commission: At the end of April, the author "provisionally" noticed that Apple abuses his dominant position at the app sales. Although the procedure has so far only about music streaming apps such as Spotify, but EU Commissioner Margrethe Vestager made it clear that they attack the system App Store overall: the Group requires "high commissions" and forbid competitors to point out alternative purchases in their apps, they tweeted. "That damages consumers." Apple is now allowed to comment on the prompt position.

Because such antitrust proceedings are over the years, the EU Commission also plans a compensation of the legal bases. The proposed in December "Digital Markets Act" Looks that competition authorities could no longer have to prove in each individual case that a company has a dominant position and abused them. Instead, platforms that make more than 6.5 billion euros in Europe in Europe and have more than 45 million users to keep particularly strict rules. For example, they were no longer allowed to prohibit app providers to point out for gantner purchasing opportunities.

The prere of developers and competition hids leave the 30 percent rule – for years of the industry standard for apps and games – already Brockeln: Since January, Apple requires developers who do not earn more than one million US dollars per year in the App Store, only still 15 percent. And from July, Google halves his commission to 15 percent, as long as the annual turnover of a provider remains below one million US dollars.

Even with other shop operators, things are in motion. Valve, the company behind the games platform, has been requiring only 25 or 20 percent of large studios since 2018, because well-known developers like Bethesda and Electronic Arts no longer wanted to offer some of their titles at Steam. Meanwhile, smaller providers fight against the operator of the large PC games store. The Indie-Studio Wolfire Games accuses him in a lawsuit to exploit his dominant position. Unmistly linked with it: the 30 percent commission.

Microsoft has already shut down the taxes for PC games in the Microsoft Store on twelve percent. This brand is also Apple-Contrah Epic with its own Games Store. Even with this commission you can "Profitable and sustainable" Structure business, Twittered Epic Chef Tim Sweeney 2019 as a page hob on Apple. The bottom line was thus around five percent of sales in EPIC as a profit, for further growth, margins of six or seven percent are also in it.

Epic attempted to draw the openness to his side. The outward of the popular online shooter "Fortnite" From the App Store and the Play Store, the developer studio had provoked by making payments made for in the game simply past Apple and Google, without submission. In the short time before "Fortnite" That’s why it was closed, these items for players were 20 percent cheaper.

Developers and resisting  shy; App-Store operators under prere

EPIC boss Tim Sweeney prior to his appearance in the process against Apple: The "Fortnite"-Provider tried sent to draw the public on his side.

From the perspective of the Fruheren Apple Manager Philipp Shoemaker, the commission should even go towards three percent, similar to credit card companies. Apple has picked up the 30 percent to the launch of the App Stores more or less likely, explained Shoemaker of the New York Times. "Nobody questioned this." Other providers such as Google or Samsung then followed simply Apple’s model when they made app shops themselves.

Margin of 70 percent?

How much Apple has deserved exactly with his App Store, is unknown. Revenues are combined in financial statements of the company with other services such as Apple Music and Apple PAY and thus made unrecognizable. Analysts, however, believe that developer teams have sold 2020 software for a total of more than 60 billion US dollars over the App Store. Accordingly, Apple could have crashed around 20 billion US dollars in commissions. The profit margin of the App Store Liege above 70 percent, faith analysts.

Many app developers do not have the impression that the US corporations for the operation of their shops create high costs. "Apple and Google make billions of sales with a minimal service", Criticizes the boss of a European developer company with two dozen employees in conversation with C’t. Support requests The shop operators have mostly forwarded directly to the app developers – even if the problem is at the App Store Liege and not at the app.

In addition, you do not forget that the developers had to pay in addition to the commission also the VAT. The bottom line was therefore only about 50 percent of the revenues with them. Namely, the entrepreneur did not want to be – for concern, from Apple or Google to be invested.

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