Telegram filed EU antitrust complaint against Apple’s App Store

Telegram, the messaging app, has become the latest company to file a formal antitrust complaint for the European Union on Apple’s App Store.

In a complaint to EU competition chief Margrethe Westeger, Telegram, which has more than 400m users, said Apple should “offer users the opportunity to download software outside the App Store”.

In June, Ms. Westeger announced two antitrust investigations at Apple, one related to the App Store. Apple’s confrontation with developers over App Store rules has increased recently.

Both Spotify and Rakuten have previously complained to the European Union that the App Store represents monopoly power, given that developers have to accept Apple’s terms, including a 30 percent commission on in-app purchases, so that hundreds Reach millions of people. Those who use iPhones.

Apple’s App Store fees worldwide are estimated to generate more than $ 1bn for the company each month.

In its complaint, Telegram took issue with Apple’s argument that the App Store commission keeps it running.

In a post this week, Mr. Durov said: “Every quarter, Apple gets billions of dollars from third-party apps. In the meantime, the expenses required to host and review these apps are not millions of dollars, but millions. Are. We know that because we host Telegram and review more public content than the App Store. “

The messaging app, which was co-founded by Russian tech entrepreneur Pavel Durov and his brother in 2013, accused Apple of stalling innovation.

Telegram said that in 2016 Apple banned the messaging app from launching gaming platforms on the grounds that it went against App Store rules. Telegram risked being deleted from the App Store and terminated the venture.

Telegram alleged that this is an example of Apple’s ability to block innovation for its “monopoly power” on the app market.

“For the same reason Apple is able to charge a 30 percent commission on the turnover of any digital service provided by the application on the Apple Store, including but not limited to the sale of apps themselves and no charge for premium services. Apps, ”the complaint added.

Apple has repeatedly denied allegations of anti-competitive behavior. In a statement ahead of the congressional hearing, Apple chief executive Tim Cook considered the App Store investigation “fair and reasonable”, but defended his company’s business practices. He stated that Apple believed that “competition is a great quality (which) promotes innovation”.

Telegram, which has been used by protesters – particularly in Hong Kong – and attacks by governments including China have previously accused Apple of blocking the update as Russia faced mounting pressure. A two-year ban in the country for Telegram has recently been lifted.

Other open investigations in the EU against Apple concern Apple Pay. The investigation is likely to last several months or years.

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