Apple hit with antitrust case in India alleging its 30% commission is unfair for customers and app developers

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Apple hit with antitrust case in India alleging its 30% commission is unfair for customers and app developers
Apple's anti-trust troubles continue to mountUnsplash
  • A non-profit organisation has filed an antitrust case against Apple over in-app payment concerns.
  • The petitioner says that the 30% commission rate harms customers and app developers, creating barriers to entry and increasing costs.
  • The iPhone-maker has been the subject of similar lawsuits in other markets like the European Union, while regulators in South Korea and Japan have used the law to force the company to concede.
Apple has been hit with an antitrust case over concerns that the iPhone-maker abused its dominant position over in-app payments. This comes after the company was hit with similar antitrust lawsuits in other markets, notably in the European Union and Japan.

According to a Reuters report, the antitrust case against Apple was filed by a relatively less known non-profit group, “Together We Fight Society”, based in Rajasthan.

"The existence of the 30% commission means that some app developers will never make it to the market. This could also result in consumer harm,” the group was quoted as saying by Reuters.

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It is worth noting that the case has been filed with the Competition Commission of India, a statutory body of the Indian government set up to promote competition and prevent activities that have an adverse effect on competition.

The group that filed the case suggests that Apple’s 30% commission acts as a barrier for app developers while also hurting customers.

"These payments and policies act as a hindrance for many developers due to which they never make it to the market," said Rakesh Deshmukh, co-founder of Indus App Bazaar, an Indian alternative app store.

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Apple has already buckled under pressure and conceded to some extent when it comes to in-app payments in Japan, allowing apps and services like Netflix, Spotify and Kindle link to their web pages to accept payments from their respective subscribers.

This means that Apple will not be able to take a cut of the payments that these services receive from their subscribers in Japan. However, the concession is only limited to “reader apps” such as these, so there’s still a long way to go as far as in-app payments across the App Store are concerned.

Rising up against Apple and Google’s high app store commissions



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The heightened pressure against Apple and Google regarding the high app store commissions is courtesy of companies like Epic Games, Spotify and others, who have been advocating for lower rates at different points in time.

Google has, to some extent, scaled back its commission rates, based on the amount of revenue earned by a developer in a year. This, the company said, will benefit 99% of the developers by slashing their commission costs in half. This comes after the company faced widespread criticism from startups in India and beyond.

Apple, on its part, reduced the commission rate to 15% from 30% for developers who have not crossed $1 million in revenue yet – beyond this, the rate is changed back to 30%.

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