The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said Thursday it has settled with mobile ad company Tapjoy over claims it used false advertising offers that promised in-game rewards that weren’t given. Two FTC commissioners also blamed Apple (and follower Google) for helping to create the environment that they claim squeezes mobile gaming industry players and incentivizes them to find other monetization models that may have negative consumer consequences.
Democratic Commissioners Rohit Chopra and Rebecca Kelly Slaughter said in a statement they sought to address the conduct of Tapjoy against the backdrop of massive growth of the mobile gaming market.
“It appears that Tapjoy amplified false offers by its business partners, who baited gamers with big rewards only to cheat them when it was time to pay up,” they wrote. “Tapjoy did little to clean up the mess, even when hundreds of thousands of gamers filed complaints. This also harmed developers of mobile games, who were cheated of advertising revenue they were entitled to.”
But the commissioners widened their criticism in their statement, saying Tapjoy was “a minnow next to the gatekeeping giants of the mobile gaming industry, Apple and Google.”
The commissioners added that those “gatekeepers” can harm developers and innovation, and that under “heavy taxation” from those major players, developers have been pushed to “alternative monetization models that rely on surveillance, manipulation, and other harmful practices.”
Both Apple and Google charge up to 30% for sales through their platforms, with a few exceptions.
MacDailyNews Take: That’s either a lie or just very poor reporting, CNBC.
Apple just cut App Store commissions in half to just 15 percent for any developer who earned up to $1 million in proceeds during the previous calendar year. So, in fact, the vast majority of Apple App Store developers do not pay 30% commission fees to Apple, just those large companies that tax App Store resources the most.
Yes, the App Store costs money to run, regardless of what a handful of disingenuous developers would have people believe.