Former App Store Head Says Apple Uses Rules ‘as a Weapon against Competitors’

Apple’s former App Store director, Phillip Shoemaker, has given testimony hinting that Apple indulges in anticompetitive behavior.

Apple is being investigated by the congressional committee in the US for allegedly practicing anticompetitive behavior in App Store. House Democrats submitted a 450-page report based on hearings, interviews, and 1.3 million documents analyzed during a 16-month period, to the court on 6th October. Today, Business Insider has spotted a testimony from a former App Store director, Phillip Shoemaker, in this 450-page document, which is quite damaging for the Cupertino-based tech giant. Philip Shoemaker oversaw App Store’s approval process between 2009 nd 2016.

According to Shoemaker, Apple creates “arbitrary” rules that allow the company to block unwanted competitors to its own apps and services on App Store. He said that Apple uses its ‘arguable’ App Store approval guidelines “as a weapon against competitors.” Shoemaker says “apps that compete against Apple’s services have a track record of problems getting through the App Store’s review process.”

Microsoft offers a subscription-based cloud-gaming service called Xbox Game Pass. Similarly, Google offers Stadia cloud-gaming platform. However, none of these platforms are available on App Store. And Shoemaker pointed out that the main reason behind this is Apple’s own cloud-gaming platform, Arcade. He hinted that the Cupertino-based tech giant isn’t allowing other cloud-gaming platforms on App Store to avoid competitors to its own gaming service.

Apple does allow cloud-gaming platforms on App Store. And GameClub is a clear example of that. However, Apple demands companies to submit each game to App Store for approval to allow a particular cloud-gaming platform on App Store. Shoemaker argues that Apple is treating games differently compared to other downloadable content. For example, Apple allows services like Netflix and Spotify to offer in-app content without submitting each individual piece for review. Apple defends its decisions by saying that games are different compared to movies and music because games are interactive and that consumers have different expectations.

It remains to be seen how the Cupertino-based tech giant will defend antitrust allegations stated in the report submitted to the court. Whatever Apple comes up with, there is no doubt that the statement from its ex-employee against the company is truly damaging.

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[Source: Business Insider]