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Apple's 15% Store Fee Cut Attempt At Skirting Scrutiny By Doing The Bare Minimum, Says Epic CEO

Apple Inc's (NASDAQ: AAPL) announcement to cut commission for small developers is being dismissed by Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney as a move to stifle criticism.

· 11/19/2020 04:15

Apple Inc's (NASDAQ:AAPL) announcement to cut commission for small developers is being dismissed by Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney as a move to stifle criticism.

What Happened: Sweeney described the Cupertino-based technology giant's move as an attempt to sow discord between app creators, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

“Apple is hoping to remove enough critics that they can get away with their blockade on competition and 30% tax on most in-app purchases. But consumers will still pay inflated prices marked up by the Apple tax,” Sweeney said, as per the Journal.

Sweeney also likened the fight against Apple with the civil rights movement in the United States in a conversation at a two-day Dealbook event, TechCrunch reported

The Epic CEO pointed out that if the game-maker had agreed to Apple’s term, it would be tantamount to collusion in restraining competition on iOS and in inflating the price for consumers. 

See Also: Apple Slashes App Store Fee To 15% For Small Businesses

“Epic mounted a challenge to this," Sweeney said, adding that during the civil rights fight “there were actual laws on the books [in the pre-civil rights period], and the laws were wrong. And people disobeyed them, and it was not wrong to disobey them because to go along with them would be collusion to make them status quo.”

Why It Matters: The CEO suggested an 8% Apple tax might be acceptable to developers for the service the tech giant provides developers. 

Previously, Sweeney had said that Apple holds a “crazy, misguided view” about owning all commerce related to the iPhone. 

Epic had attempted to skirt the 30% in-app purchase commission that Apple charges by offering an alternative payment option in Fortnite, which led to the game’s removal from the App Store.

The attempt then led to a legal fight between the two companies. Apple had demanded compensation from Epic alleging theft, but those lawsuits were dismissed.

Price Action: Apple shares closed 1.14% lower at $118.03 on Wednesday and fell 0.14% in the after-hours session.