Tech

Facebook CEO Takes a Swing at Apple’s ‘Stranglehold’ and ‘Monopoly Rents’

By Novak Bozovic / August 29, 2020

By all means, Apple has found itself in a strenuous relationship with other tech giants. Amid a heated battle with Epic Games (which has now resulted in Apple terminating the gaming company’s account), Facebook CEO has decided to raise his concerns about the behavior of the Cupertino-based company.

As reported by BuzzFeedNews, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had plenty to say about Apple last Thursday, during a companywide meeting with more than 50,000 employees via webcast.

On that same day, Apple refused to allow Facebook to notify its users of a fact that the iPhone maker would collect 30% of in-app purchases through a new feature that would allow businesses to sell tickets to online events. Apple stated that this notification was "irrelevant information," forcing Facebook to get rid of the message before an update appeared on the iOS App Store.

"Apple has this unique stranglehold as a gatekeeper on what gets on phones," Zuckerberg stated during the meeting. He also noted that Apple "blocks innovation, blocks competition," and that this practice allows the company to “charge monopoly rents.

When asked about Apple's decision to threaten Epic Games with the possibility of removing Unreal Engine from the App Store, Zuckerberg said that this was "just an extremely aggressive move" that was "quite problematic."

Earlier this month, Apple also forced the social media giant to eliminate a feature called Instant Games from Facebook Gaming, an app used to watch streamers play video games. And only a couple of weeks ago, the two companies had yet another disagreement. That’s when the social media giant introduced paid online events, as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. While Facebook decided not to collect any fees, Apple refused to join this initiative and decided to stick to its 30% "App Store tax." This means that individuals using this feature on iOS will receive 70% of their revenue, which isn’t the case with other platforms.

Finally, Zuckerberg also responded to questions regarding the possibility of a TikTok ban in the United States. He stated that there were “valid national security questions” surrounding this app, but also added that banning the app would create a “really bad long-term precedent.



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