Apple Responds To Latest Antitrust Pressure With App Store Revamp

The Apple logo is seen on the window at an Apple Store
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Apple responded on Thursday to a new round of antitrust pressure with an App Store overhaul aimed at keeping developers happy. Reported by 9to5Mac, the company is attempting to make the store more attractive to software creators, who are becoming increasingly miffed with the Cupertino-based tech giant.

Lawmakers in the U.S. are putting mounting pressure on Apple, with accusations the App Store is a monopoly that treats developers unfairly. Under the requirements of the marketplace, software creators must hand Apple 30 percent of all revenue from downloads, in-app purchases, subscriptions, and other sources of income.

Regulators in Washington are investigating accusations of antitrust practices against Apple as part of the House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee.

Apple is now on a charm offensive to keep smaller application builders on board. While the company is not going as far as to change its 30 percent revenue rule, it is on a PR blitz to not lose any more customers. On the company’s homepage, a large banner tells visitors about the new store experience.

Once on the marketplace, visitors are welcomed by the following page explaining benefits of working on the store.

“For over a decade, the App Store has proved to be a safe and trusted place to discover and download apps. But the App Store is more than just a storefront — it’s an innovative destination focused on bringing you amazing experiences. And a big part of those experiences is ensuring that the applications we offer are held to the highest standards for privacy, security, and content. Because we offer nearly two million apps — and we want you to feel good about using every single one of them.”

The Instagram app logo is displayed next to an "Instagrammed" image on another iPhone on August 3, 2016 in London, England.
  Carl Court / Getty Images

Furthermore, the firm is also talking up the success of the App Store. According to the tech giant, security is a major part of the experience, with over a million apps already rejected because of objectionable content. This number includes 150,000 applications turned away last year for not meeting the company’s security requirements.

Epic Games, the creator of the hugely popular free-to-play game, Fortnite, is leading accusations against Apple. The game publishing heavyweight is suing Apple over App Store requirements.

When players access Fortnite on their iPhone, Epic Games provides a way to purchase in-game items through their website. Apple said this violates its terms and conditions, so Epic Games was banned from the iOS marketplace.

Other developers have rounded on Apple, including Microsoft. Earlier this week, The Verge reported a group of tech giants have combined with the clear goal of fighting Apple’s practices. The new Coalition for App Fairness is a non-profit that includes software creators like Spotify, Tile, and Blockchain.