Democrat congressman calls Apple’s App Store policies ‘highway robbery’

Hanging over Apple’s 2020 Worldwide Development Conference, which begins Monday, is the recent announcement by European regulators of an investigation that could fundamentally change the way Apple and developers make money from the App Store.

Apple App Store on Apple devices
Apple’s App Store

Mark Gurman for Bloomberg News:

In a statement, Apple said it “developed the App Store with two goals in mind: that it be a safe and trusted place for customers to discover and download apps, and a great business opportunity for entrepreneurs and developers. We’re deeply proud of the countless developers who’ve innovated and found success through our platform.” The company added that 84% of apps are free and don’t provide Apple a share of revenue.

Apple’s dealings with developers also are under scrutiny from U.S. lawmakers. In an interview Friday on Bloomberg Television, Representative David Cicilline, a Democrat from Rhode Island and chairman of the House Antitrust Subcommittee, called the App Store policies “highway robbery” and said the company demands a “ransom” from developers, referring to the 30% revenue share. He said the chief executive officers of the major technology companies including Apple would be asked to testify before Congress. Thus far, Apple has declined to make CEO Tim Cook available.

MacDailyNews Take: Highway robbery? Please. Get a grip, Davey.

Cicilline is obviously prone to hysterics and has no idea what Apple and their App Store provides to developers, including a safe, secure, highly lucrative distribution method to the richest personal computer, smartphone, and tablet demographics ever assembled.

Apple built the Mac. Apple built the iPhone. Apple built the iPad. Apple built the App Store. Apple created the most verdant ecosystem ever created for developers by far. Only the losers and those developers who can’t read and follow simple rules are whining incessantly.

If anything, Apple takes too little of a cut for all that the App Store provides developers.

We look forward to Apple CEO Tim Cook (or whatever lower level executive Apple decides to send to this latest D.C. charade) schooling Cicilline & Co. publicly.

34 Comments

    1. No doubt. They just can’t pick a lane, huh? I can only assume Google isn’t under scrutiny instead because they and the DNC are more formal bedfellows. I haven’t forgotten that near the end of his last term, Obama literally had Google operating out of the White House itself.

    2. I love how politicians who haven’t ever worked in the private sector or have a clue, tell businesses how to run their company.

      I really appreciate the Fascist ideal of a government official taking over and telling a private company how to run.

      30% is what it is. Apples iOS does not have even close to a mobile OS monopoly, so people espousing this can go pound sand.

      Apple created, built and maintains everything about iOS, the App Store and sells iPhones it also created.

      How about Apple just stop completely, and then let’s see what developers and this idiot congressman would say?

      Hey, you can’t quit! We need to make money off the Sytems you created! Sounds a lot closer to Welfare…

    3. Because of competition in my market, my average markup is just 15%. I’d love to be able to net 30%. These aren’t the days when Sam Walton first opened his Ben Franklin Five and Dime and he was told to keystone (100% markup) everything. Then Sam realized that if he cut his mark-up in half he could sell three times as many items and thus Wal-Mart was born.

      Obviously Rep. Cicilline is being hyperbolic when he says, “Highway Robbery”, but he does have a point. 30% is above current marketplace standards. Rep. Cicilline obviously has a donor in his ear, looks to be Amazon from his campaign finance reports, who is asking him to investigate this. Let him investigate, there is precious little Congress can do beyond holding hearings.

      1. Go build the entire infrastructure, support, procurement, sales/marketing mechanism and the very platform that provides access to millions of customers and then come back and talk about percentages… How much did that cost?

        You pay taxes but the government will provide…with YOUR money!

    4. Perfect! I would add that they enjoy the spoils of capitalism while condemning using the very tools that it created.. don’t forget, everything is free. Unless you work hard and pay taxes. Otherwise, feel free to loot, riot and pillage while complaining about the people that provided a pathway to your own freedom, liberty and success.
      Marxist, facist, libtards… proof of mal-education.

      Going out on limb here – If you are male, hard working, taxpaying, self reliant individual that worked for what you have and have children – Happy Father’s Day!

      1. The only one that said “free” is Cook. What the hell are you talking about. How about that other Capitalist tool… App Store Competition.

        “Go build the entire infrastructure…” blather.

        Apple does not own the devices or the Apps other than their few Apps. You want to own the ecosystem? Own everything in the store.

      2. The top five companies (in the world) are all on the west coast, Walmart (no full time workers company policy) is it for the great red areas who SUCK from the blue areas….

  1. Perhaps, Representative David Cicilline, a Democrat , instead of it called “ransom”, you would be more comfortable with the word “TAX”?!?

  2. As a former RI resident, I can say with authority that David Cicilline is nothing but a worthless, stupid POS liberal. The only ones dumber are the voters

  3. Democrat rhymes with RAT because DemocRAT!!! huh ha huh huh huh! I’m funny because I call them rats. HAHAHAHAHAH! Isn’t that right MDN? RATRATRATRAT!!! We are better because they are rats! hahahaha!

    Psst. I’m mocking you.

    1. I think the point that anti-trust is focusing on is that iOS owners don’t have the option of using county roads, thus are ‘forced’ to make use of the highway or just sit in their ‘brick’.

  4. Free = in app purchases that they won’t tell you the price of until you instal.
    There is nothing “Free market” about having to pay a thousand dollars to change from Apple to Android. That is unfair lock in.

    1. Work, Save, and Invest and you too can get that Apple device, but you can’t be a short term thinker you have to plan and work for it and at it.

      Come on everyone on this site over the years has been given freebies (a heads up toward Apple’s plans) long before the general public (like taking money from a baby, thank you W.C. Fields) if you haven’t taken advantage of that and invested well…

  5. It’s Apples store there are many companies over years that Apple has given a free ride to Uber, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Adobe, Amazon, aside from buying some goods from Amazon (all of which can found somewhere else) none of those companies matter on any Apple device without them I will still buy a Apple computer or phone there is nothing better in the world market. Like buying a 911 or a Taycan.

    1. That you fail to see how all those companies enriched, yes enriched, Apples ecosystem does not surprise me based on your own status symbol admission.

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