Ap­ple cut Ama­zon’s App Store fee in half to en­tice Prime Video on to its iOS plat­forms

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Technology Intelligen­ce - By James Cook

AP­PLE of­fered Ama­zon lower App Store fees to con­vince the ecom­merce gi­ant to launch its Prime Video app on the iPhone App Store, newly re­leased doc­u­ments have re­vealed.

An email sent by se­nior Ap­ple ex­ec­u­tive Eddy Cue to Ama­zon chief ex­ecu- tive Jeff Be­zos in 2016 shows Ap­ple took a 15pc cut of peo­ple sign­ing up for stream­ing ser­vices through Ama­zon’s Prime Video app when that cus­tomer signed up through an Ap­ple de­vice.

Ap­ple typ­i­cally charges a 30pc cut of all sub­scrip­tions made in the first year of an app be­ing avail­able in its App Store – a fee that has frus­trated app de­vel­op­ers in re­cent years.

The email was re­leased ahead of a Congress hear­ing into al­leged an­titrust abuses by technology com­pa­nies. Ap­ple chief ex­ec­u­tive Tim Cook gave ev­i­dence at the hear­ing, as did Mr Be­zos.

The re­duced App Store fees for Ama­zon’s Prime Video app ap­pear to have been part of a long-stand­ing pro­gramme run to pro­vide bet­ter fees for what it calls “pre­mium sub­scrip­tion video entertainm­ent providers”.

Apps in­clud­ing Prime Video, Altice One and Canal+ are all given pref­er­en­tial App Store rates for pur­chases as long as the apps have di­rect in­te­gra­tion into Ap­ple ser­vices such as Siri or its AirPlay 2 wire­less speaker technology.

Other emails re­leased on Wed­nes­day in­cluded a 2011 email sent by Mr Cue to other Ap­ple em­ploy­ees in that he sug­gested tak­ing a 40pc cut of App Store pur­chases, a higher fee than the com­pany’s 30pc cut. His col­league Jai Chu­lani replied to say that Ap­ple “may be leav­ing money on the ta­ble if we just asked for about 30pc of the first year” of sub­scrip­tions in iPhone apps.

Dur­ing the hear­ing, Hank John­son, a Demo­crat from Ge­or­gia, sug­gested that Ap­ple’s App Store re­view guide­lines are changed on a whim to ben­e­fit the com­pany and shut out smaller de­vel­op­ers. “That is not cor­rect,” Mr Cook said. “We treat ev­ery de­vel­oper the same.” Ap­ple has re­peat­edly de­nied that it en­gages in anti-com­pet­i­tive be­hav­iour.

Hours af­ter the hear­ing, Tele­gram, the mes­sag­ing app, filed a for­mal an­titrust com­plaint to the EU over Ap­ple’s App Store.

Spo­tify and Rakuten have pre­vi­ously com­plained to the EU that the App Store’s 30pc fee on its smart­phone store con­sti­tutes an un­fair “app tax” that sti­fles com­pe­ti­tion.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.