- Epic, Spotify, Match, Tile, and others have formed a coalition for app fairness.
- The group hopes to get Apple, Google, and others to reform their App Store policies.
- Whether or not they get their wish is a different matter.
Epic Games and Spotify don’t just want to rely on litigation to drive app store policy reforms. The companies have partnered with other major developers and groups to form the Coalition for App Fairness (CAF), an “enforcement and reform” group to encourage competition and choice in app stores, including through government policy and legal Steps.
The alliance includes app manufacturers like the dating giants Match Group, Deezer, Tile and ProtonMail, as well as organizations like the European Publishers Council and News Media Europe.
The coalition is primarily focused on Apple’s activities, claiming that the company’s “onerous” approach to the App Store policies has given its own software an “unfair advantage” that blocks innovative companies and allows app- Developer prices increased. Members argue that companies like Apple have monopoly behavior. “The fundamental freedoms of developers are being attacked,” said Epic boss Tim Sweeney.
See also: Epic accuses Google of crushing Fortnite deals
To this end, the group published a list of 10 “App Store Principles”. These include non-exclusive app distribution, equal access and promotion for developers, transparent store policies, and the ability to offer third-party app stores on a specific platform. In other words, they are supposed to dissolve the App Store policies that led Epic, Spotify, and others to file complaints.
There is no certainty that CAF will produce tangible results. Apple and Google have been under pressure for years to change their approaches to the App Store policy with little success. However, the Congressional hearings and Epic’s struggles over Fortnite have drawn more attention to the issue, and there hasn’t been a truly consistent effort on this scale. Last but not least, this could mean that alleged abuses in the App Store remain in the limelight for longer.