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Epic and allies are complaining about Apple's US App Store fees, while they charge about the same

Epic vs Apple continues

Epic has been joined by Meta, Microsoft, X, and Match to protest how Apple is handling App Store fees and the California anti-steering order, even as Microsoft bills Xbox developers heavily, and Epic attempts to charge a 12% commission in the EU.

Apple and Epic went through a long saga of legal battles over Apple's commission. The result was a resounding victory for Apple in all but one charge, which would require Apple to end its anti-steering policy.

After many failed appeals, Apple was finally forced to comply with the ruling, but how Apple complied hasn't made developers happy. A new report from The Wall Street Journal says four more companies have joined Epic's protests — Meta, Microsoft, X, and Match Group.

An amicus brief filed by the companies complains about Apple's new policies, which allow only one external link and no attempt to push customers to choose one option over the other. If a customer is successfully driven to the external purchase location, Apple still demands a 27% or 12% commission on all digital products sold.

"The Apple Plan comports with neither the letter nor the spirit of this Court's mandate," the amicus brief reads. It claims Apple is making it impossible for developers to choose the new system over in-app purchases.

The claims made by each company suggest Apple's policies will impact thousands of developers and millions of users. Despite these complaints, Apple says it has fully complied with the court order and implemented a system allowing developers to inform customers.

Epic's mockup of the Epic Games Store on an iPhone
Epic will charge developers 12% in the EU

Epic, Microsoft, and Meta's hypocritical stance

Microsoft has its own walled garden with the Xbox console and game store. It charges fees very similarly to Apple's on the App Store. Meta charges similar fees for its Quest platform as well.

And, Epic also has fees. After the Epic event livestream, it explained what was announced in a newsroom post, closing with the following remark:

Finally, we shared more about our plans to bring the Epic Games Store to iOS and Android later this year, expanding developer access to our industry-leading revenue share and launching a true multi-platform store featuring amazing games for players.

Epic's "industry-leading revenue share" is 12% after six months commission-free. That 12% is the same as the reduced Apple take Epic is contesting in the United States.

Every action from Epic shows it would prefer if courts would rule Epic Games should able to do what it wants and owe nothing. It is up to legislators to keep Apple from being unfair, but they should also keep companies like Epic in check.