Sarah Bond, Microsoft’s Xbox president, criticized Apple for taking a “step in the wrong direction” by coming up with controversial plans for compliance with European Union’s regulations.
Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney and Spotify CEO Daniel Ek have already criticized Apple for its stance. Sweeney said it was an example of “malicious compliance” with the EU’s regulations, while Ek said it represented a “new low” for Apple.
The EU’s Digital Markets Act regulation going into effect on March 7 requires “gatekeeper” companies such as Apple and Google to allow for alternative app stores and web shops as a way to check the power of the platform companies’ app stores.
Apple proposed policy changes for the App Store including a new Core Technology Fee for apps that developers want to take to third-party app stores in the EU. Under that change, it will require devs using the third-party app stores to play half a euro for each annual app install after an app exceeds a million downloads. Apple will also require a 17% commission from devs using third-party payment processors. And this is where Bond stepped in.
Bond is in charge of Microsoft’s Xbox platform and hardware work, and the company has been preparing to launch its own mobile Xbox store to compete with Apple and Google. Epic Games also has its own Epic Games Store and it is seeking to bring Fortnite back to mobile after it was kicked off due to antitrust litigation with Apple and Google. Sweeney called the app store changes “hot garbage.”
Spotify’s Ek accused Apple of “extortion” with its new App Store tax, which he said makes it uneconomical to opt for an alternative third-party store.
Microsoft has also been trying to get its Xbox Cloud Gaming app on iOS. Last week, Apple also said it would enable cloud gaming services on the App Store. It will allow multiple games on a single cloud gaming app, in contrast to its stance before.
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