The lawsuit between Apple and Epic tells us today that Microsoft wanted, at one point, to bypass the 30% commission on the Apple App Store.
Taking a commission on transactions made through an application store is a very common practice today. Like the others, Apple does it on its App Store. But the situation is delicate, some seeing it as a monopoly. This is the subject of the lawsuit between Apple and Epic. This trial teaches us today that Microsoft at one point also wanted to bypass this commission.
Microsoft wanted to bypass Apple’s commission
Apple takes 30% commission on all transactions made on its App Store. This applies to app sales like in-app purchases. It’s more or less standard today and although Apple has better relationships with some developers than others, it helps provide great visibility and Apple has never increased its commission by 30%.
The giant has requested authorization from Apple
During the lawsuit between Apple and Epic, a number of confidential emails came to light. These notably enabled us to learn that Microsoft wanted, at one point, to be an exception to this rule. In an email sent to Apple, Microsoft asked to be allowed to send its users to its own website to make purchases of products or services like Office in order to escape the 30% commission charged by Apple.
Unsurprisingly, Apple refused. In an email from Phil Schiller, one can read in particular: “we manage the store, we collect the revenues.” It’s no surprise that Apple said no, but given the relationship between Apple and Microsoft over the past decades, one would have thought that the two giants could find some common ground.
That being said, Microsoft is not the only one to have tried to avoid this commission from the App Store. Other apps like Netflix have done something similar. Users who want to subscribe must do so directly on the Netflix site. The streaming platform does not highlight this situation, and it does not technically break the rules in place.