Coalition for App Fairness

The Coalition for App Fairness (CAF) is a coalition comprised by companies who aim the reach a fairer deal for the inclusion of their apps into the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.[1] The organization is seated in Washington, D.C..[2]

Coalition for App Fairness
Formation24 September 2020
FounderEpic Games
Spotify
Match Group et al.
HeadquartersWashington, D.C.
Websiteappfairness.org

BackgroundEdit

In August 2020, Epic Games updated their Fortnite Battle Royale game app on both Apple's App Store and Google's Google Play to include its own storefront that offered a 20% discount on V-Bucks, the in-game currency, if players bought through there rather than through the app stores' storefront, both which take a 30% revenue cut of the sale. Both Apple and Google removed the Fortnite app within hours, as this alternate storefront violated their terms of use that required all in-app purchases to be made through their storefronts. Epic immediately filed lawsuits against both companies challenging their storefront policies on antitrust principles, arguing that their non-negotiable 30% revenue cut is too high and the restrictions against alternate storefronts anticompetitive. Apple has countersued Epic over their behavior, with their suit expected to go to bench trial in 2021, while Google seeks a compromise with Epic.[3] This lead to both Apple and Google to remove the Fortnite app from their stores.[3]

The coalition criticizes the fact that for now the app stores of both Apple and Google charge their clients a 30% fee on any purchases made over their stores.[2] Apple and Google defended themselves by arguing that the 30% transaction fee is a standard in the industry[2] while the Coalition for App Fairness states that there is no other transaction fee which is even close to the 30%.[4]

FoundationEdit

On the 24 September 2020, Epic Games joined forces with thirteen other prominent companies like the music streaming platform Spotify, Match Group who owns the online dating app Tinder, the encrypted mail service ProtonMail and the crypto currency website Blockchain amongst others and established the Coalition for App Fairness.[5][6]

AimsEdit

The group has broadened their demands for the app stores and now also aim for a better treatment for the apps available in the App Store. They claim that Apple favors its own services before other services available on the market.[4] The group has also been viewing other transaction fees like the 5% fee which is charged by credit card companies, and states that Apple charges up to 600% more[1] and would like the 30% fee, which was only included in 2011 by Apple, adapted to a comparable percentage that charge other providers of payment solutions.[7] Its demands are mainly directed at Apples strict control over its App Store, but to a lesser extent are also directed towards Google.[5] Google allows apps to be downloaded over an independent web link or also another App Store, such as the Epic Game App Store.[8] The organization emphasizes that no app developer should come into the position in which he is discriminated and is not granted the same rights as to the developers of the owner of the app store.[9]

HistoryEdit

In October 2020, Microsoft presented a new framework concerning the access to its Windows 10 operating system by app stores other than the one offered by Microsoft. The new framework is based on the demands of the Coalition for App Fairness.[10] Microsoft emphasized though, that these principles would not apply to the Xbox.[11]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Amadeo, Ron (2020-09-24). "Epic, Spotify, and others take on Apple with 'Coalition for App Fairness'". Ars Technica. Retrieved 2020-09-26.
  2. ^ a b c Lindner, Roland; York, New. "Kritik an App-Store-Regeln: Ein neues Bündnis gegen Apple und Google". FAZ.NET (in German). ISSN 0174-4909. Retrieved 2020-09-26.
  3. ^ a b Sarkar, Samit (2020-08-17). "Epic Games' Fortnite legal battle with Apple and Google, explained". Polygon. Retrieved 2020-09-26.
  4. ^ a b "Anti-Competitive Policies". Coalition for App Fairness. Retrieved 2020-09-26.
  5. ^ a b "App makers band together to fight for App Store changes with new 'Coalition for App Fairness'". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2020-09-26.
  6. ^ "The Coalition for App Fairness formed to counter Apple App Store practices". SD Times. 2020-09-25. Retrieved 2020-09-26.
  7. ^ "30% App Tax". Coalition for App Fairness. Retrieved 2020-09-26.
  8. ^ Brandom, Russell (2020-08-13). "Epic is suing Google over Fortnite's removal from the Google Play Store". The Verge. Retrieved 2020-09-26.
  9. ^ "Coalition for App Fairness is a non-profit to oppose Apple and Google's app store practices". xda-developers. 2020-09-25. Retrieved 2020-09-28.
  10. ^ "Microsoft outlines 10 app store principles in a jab at Apple". Neowin. Retrieved 2020-10-21.
  11. ^ "10 app store principles to promote choice, fairness and innovation". Microsoft on the Issues. 2020-10-08. Retrieved 2020-10-21.