The App Store is coming under increased scrutiny in U.S. antitrust probe
What you need to know
- The U.S. Justice Department is looking at Apple's App Store as part of a larger antitrust probe.
- The government has been meeting with app developers for over a year now.
- It is still unknown if the DOJ will bring a case against the company.
The App Store's policies recently came under public scrutiny when Apple and Hey Email engaged in a very public debate about the App Store's payment system requirements. Now, it appears that the United States Justice Department has been talking to developers such as Hey Email for the last year about the same subject.
Reported by Bloomberg, the Justice Department has been looking into Apple's App Store policies, specifically the company's rules about requiring developers to use its payment system.
One of the developers interviewed by the DOJ has been David Heinemeier Hansson, the founder of Basecamp and co-founder of Hey Email, which recently resolved a payment policy issue with Apple after publicly decrying the App Store policies publicly before WWDC.
Other apps, like Spotify, have also accused Apple of anti-competitive behavior for taking a 30% fee for new subscribers if they signed up through the App Store while Apple pays no such fee for new Apple Music subscribers. Apple, on the other hand, believes that the fee is appropriate and has accused Spotify of wanting "all the benefits of a free app without being free".
It is still unclear if the Department of Justice will bring a case against Apple, but the investigation is ongoing.
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Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.
By Daryl Baxter