Tesla CEO, Elon Musk criticised the fees that Apple charges on its App Store. Musk said in a tweet, that the fees that Apple charges are a de facto global tax on the internet, comparing it to a benchmark of sorts. This criticism comes against the background of a lawsuit that was filed by ‘Fortnite’ game-maker, Epic Games against Apple last year. Epic Games had filed a lawsuit after Apple removed its app from the App Store after the former had initiated an in-app payment method to circumvent Apple’s commission.
In his Tweet, Musk said, “Apple app store fees are a de facto global tax on the Internet. Epic is right.” The issue at hand is that Epic Games has alleged that Apple has abused its power of dominance in the mobile apps market with this move. However, the commission on the App Store was a rule that Apple had put in place, which Epic Games broke. Apple has so far defended its practices on the App Store both in court hearings and to lawmakers.
Adding to his thoughts on the matter, the Tesla CEO said, “Normally, competitive pressure would force Apple to lower fees, but Apple & Android have a duopoly on phones. When interface familiarity is taken into account, it’s basically a monopoly. The effective 30% sales tax Apple charges is hidden from users or there would be an outcry.”
Further in a thread, while interacting with comments, Musk responded to a question that asked if Apple should allow third-party app stores on iOS. To this he responded, “That’s arguably a security issue, but allowing companies to use other payment options, especially for in-app purchases would be fair. As soon as they allowed that, they would have to lower their fees. As for the cost of reviewing apps for security, a fixed fee makes sense.”
In another comment, Musk emphasized his affinity for Apple products but claimed that it is still an overcharge on the company’s part. The tweet read, “Actually, I like & use Apple products. They are just obviously overcharging with App Store. I mean 30% fees for doing almost zero incremental work is completely unreasonable. Epic wouldn’t bother processing their own payments if App Store fees were fair.”
Amidst this storm of tweets on social media, Musk also took center stage when denying that there were talks held between him and Apple CEO, Tim Cook. The issue arose that Musk and Cook allegedly met earlier to discuss Apple buying Tesla, but Musk denies that any such event took place.
Musk had at one point reached out to Cook where the former requested to meet but Cook had declined the meeting. “Cook & I have never spoken or written to each other ever. There was a point where I requested to meet with Cook to talk about Apple buying Tesla. There were no conditions of acquisition proposed whatsoever. He refused to meet. Tesla was worth about 6% of today’s value,” said Musk.
Musk’s comments come as both companies sit on the sidelines waiting for a verdict to be delivered on the lawsuit that is still in motion. The trial has stretched on for almost nine months at this point as per reports by Cnet. Apple and Epic had made voiced their case a final time on May 24 to a US District Court in California according to the report.