Apple European executive defends App Store policies amid antitrust scrutiny

Credit: Apple

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Apple's App Store chief in Europe defended the company's developer policies on Tuesday amid increased antitrust scrutiny in the region and in other parts of the world.

As antitrust investigations in Europe and the U.S. place the company in the spotlight, Apple Director of App Store and Media Services Daniel Matray likened the company's app marketplace to a "quality department store" at a four-day virtual conference held by Forum Europe.

Matray stressed that Apple puts a lot of investment and innovation into maintaining the App Store as a platform and into vetting apps to ensure they meet a baseline of quality and reliability, Bloomberg reported.

"Our efforts to help developers succeed are broad, deep and ongoing, and they extend to apps — in music, email, or a variety of other categories — that compete with some aspect of our business," Matray said.

The Apple executive added that 85% of apps don't pay Apple a cut of purchases because they're free to use or make money via other avenues, such as advertising.

Matray's comments come on the heels of a dispute between Apple and a Basecamp-created email app called Hey. The dustup between the two companies started because of Hey's lack on an in-app subscription purchase option.

They also follow comments from the U.S. House of Representative's antitrust committee chairman criticizing the App Store's policies. In an interview, Rep. David Cicilline called Apple's 15% to 30% cut of in-app transactions "highway robbery."

On Friday, it was reported that U.S. Justice Department lawyers were "scrutinizing" App Store rules that required developers to use Apple's payment platforms. The DoJ probe first launched in 2019.

In Europe, the European Commission is looking at alleged anticompetitive behavior in the App Store. That probe came after Spotify — both a developer and a competitor on the App Store — lodged an antitrust complaint with European authorities.