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Apple is trying really, really hard to rebuff App Store monopoly claims

Apple has launched a new website defending the App Store against mounting claims from rivals it has created a monopoly on the iOS platform.

The California-based tech giant has launched a Principles and Practices page, in which it appears to fight back against companies like Spotify, who claim the 30% commission Apple claims on subscriptions is unfair.

Apple points out that developers get to set their own subscription fees for their apps and its cut is based upon that. The company says it earns more money for developers than other portals and points out that 84% of the apps on the App Store are free and developers pay nothing to Apple.

“We only collect a commission from developers when a digital good or service is delivered through an app,” the firm says. “We also care about quality over quantity, and trust over transactions. That’s why, even though other stores have more users and more app downloads, the App Store earns more money for developers. Our users trust Apple — and that trust is critical to how we operate a fair, competitive store for developer app distribution.”

Related: Spotify vs Apple Music antitrust complaint explained

Later in the blog, Apple also seeks to explain just how it embraces competition on the App Store, by listing high-profile apps that are alternatives to its own stock apps.

For example, Gmail, Outlook, Spark and Yahoo Mail are all freely-available alternatives to Apple’s own Mail apps, while users also have the choice of a wide range of cloud storage, navigation, calendar, music, notes, messaging, podcast and TV apps.

Back in March this year, Spotify launched a blistering attack on Apple’s practices, with CEO Daniel Ek saying the 30% tax it has to fork over for App Store-based subs giving Apple an unfair advantage over rivals.

In a blog post, Ek wrote: “First, apps should be able to compete fairly on the merits, and not based on who owns the App Store. We should all be subject to the same fair set of rules and restrictions—including Apple Music.

“Second, consumers should have a real choice of payment systems, and not be “locked in” or forced to use systems with discriminatory tariffs such as Apple’s. Finally, app stores should not be allowed to control the communications between services and users, including placing unfair restrictions on marketing and promotions that benefit consumers.”

Alongside the blog post, Spotify has made an anti-trust complaint to the European Commission, which is responsible for keeping competition fair and non-discriminatory. Apple’s post today is a very public way of calling B.S. on that complaint.

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