Tinder owner Match Group and music giant Spotify have made a public display of support for Epic Games, whose mega-popular “Fortnite” was booted from Apple’s App Store and the Google Play Store after it introduced a new payment system that allowed it to circumvent the shops’ steep 30 percent fees.
The dating juggernaut, which also owns popular dating apps like Hinge and OkCupid, said in a statement that it stood behind Epic, which on Thursday filed a lawsuit against Apple following its ban, and “supports all efforts to ensure everybody is able to enjoy the benefits of a fair app ecosystem.”
Apple charges developers a 30-percent commission for in-app purchases and restricts them from telling users about cheaper purchasing options. Tinder, one of the iPhone’s most popular apps, offers customers a cheaper rate for its Tinder Gold subscription plan if they sign up via its website rather than in-app.
Google also takes a sizable cut of in-app purchases.
“We fully support Epic Games’ efforts today to show how Apple uses its dominant position and unfair policies to hurt consumers, app developers and entrepreneurs,” a Match spokesperson told The Post. “Regulators across the globe have expressed similar concerns and are examining Apple’s arbitrary practices.
Spotify said in a statement that it “applaud[s] Epic Games’ decision to take a stand against Apple and shed further light on Apple’s abuse of its dominant position.”
Apple banned the battleroyale-style video game after Epic rolled out a new direct payment system. Users who opted to pay Epic directly, rather than through the App Store, would receive a 20 percent discount on their purchase.
Fortnite has now filed lawsuits against both Apple and Google, citing the tech companies’ “oppressive” tax on the sale of every app, and likened Apple to a “behemoth seeking to control markets, block competition, and stifle innovation,” saying that it is “more powerful, more entrenched, and more pernicious than the monopolists of yesteryear.”
The lawsuits don’t seek any monetary damages, but instead “injunctive relief to allow fair competition in these two key markets that directly affect hundreds of millions of consumers and tens of thousands, if not more, of third-party app developers.”
Apple and Google both said that they look forward to working with Epic to resolve the violations and restore the game to their app stores.
Epic CEO Tim Sweeney has in the past complained about the large cuts that Apple takes from in-app purchases, saying that simply selling hardware doesn’t entitle the company to a large cut of developer revenue.
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