Microsoft president calls for more scrutiny from Apple and its App Store

Microsoft believes it is time for more regulation on mobile app stores, including Apple’s App Store, which in recent days has become the subject of investigations and complaints by the developer community.

“I think the time has come, either in Washington or Brussels, for a conversation focused on the nature of app stores,” said Brad Smith, president of Microsoft, in an interview with Politico. “You should talk about the rules around [de las tiendas], the prices and fees extracted and reviewing whether there is justification for an antitrust law for everything that has been created. “

During the interview, Smith doesn’t specifically mention Apple, but based on his references, such as charging 30 percent for revenue and for mentions to restrictive stores, it’s clear he is referring to the Cupertino company. A Microsoft spokesman told Bloomberg that Smith was indeed referring to Apple during the interview.

Smith said during the interview that Microsoft has its own app store, from which it charges developers between 5 and 15 percent for the sale of apps, depending on some variants. However, she added, users have the option to install apps from other stores.

Apple, on the other hand, charges between 15 and 30 percent to developers for each application sale or purchase within these, and only allows applications to be officially downloaded and installed from the App Store. Microsoft, which sells its apps and subscriptions for Word, PowerPoint and other services on the App Store, also has to pay a percentage to Apple just for distributing the apps in the store.

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This practice has been criticized by developers and companies like Spotify that have already requested – and got – a investigation in Europe of possible monopolistic practices Apple with the App Store. Spotify believes that Apple should not act as a gatekeeper, deciding what is allowed and what is not, in the store.

This week, a report from the New York Times revealed that Apple has rejected at least five times a Facebook app for game distribution. In recent days, it was revealed that Apple has blocked the Hey mail app, citing violation of the App Store rules.

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Apple faces scrutiny from the developer community that represents millions of dollars in revenue for the company, although this community also benefits from the store. In 2019, the App Store generated $ 519 billion in worldwide sales, and more than 85 percent of this figure goes into the pockets of developers, according to the Analysis Group study.

The accusations to Apple happen days before the iPhone maker holds its annual event WWDC, a congress that lasts a week and that welcomes the developer community to give workshops on application improvement and talk about the changes that are coming in the next operating systems. WWDC 2020 begins June 22 and CNET en Español will cover the event online in a live blog starting at 9:45 am in the United States Pacific. Apple may comment on complaints to the App Store.