Apple will slash App Store fees as antitrust pressure mounts
(CNN Business)Apple said Wednesday it will slash the fees it charges app developers from 30% to 15% if the developer made less than $1 million in the prior year.
The change for small businesses will go into effect on Jan. 1, Apple (AAPL) said, while apps that earn more than $1 million a year will continue to be covered by Apple's existing fee structure, which charges 30%.
It was not immediately clear how many small app developers will be affected by the change; Apple's announcement said only that the update will benefit "the vast majority of developers" on the App Store. Apple declined to elaborate.
More than 97% of iOS app publishers tracked by app metrics firm Sensor Tower generate less than $1 million a year in app-based consumer spending. Those developers' economic activity accounted for an estimated 5% of the iOS App Store's total revenues in 2019, Sensor Tower told CNN Business.
应用指标公司Sensor Tower追踪的iOS应用发行商中，超过97%每年在基于应用的消费者支出中产生的收入不到100万美元。传感器塔告诉CNN Business，这些开发者的经济活动估计占iOS应用商店2019年总收入的5%。
Apple's App Store fees have increasingly come under scrutiny as lawmakers and regulators have zeroed in on Apple's dominance over iOS.
Leading members of the House Judiciary Committee found in a landmark report this fall that Apple, along with Amazon, Facebook and Google, enjoy "monopoly power" and have wielded that power in anti-competitive ways.
众议院司法委员会(House Judiciary Committee)的主要成员在今年秋天的一份里程碑式的报告中发现，苹果以及亚马逊(Amazon)、Facebook和谷歌(Google)享有“垄断权”，并以反竞争的方式行使这种权力。
In addition to app store fees, Apple's developer policies have been criticized as helping to preserve the company's dominance. This summer, Epic Games, the maker of the hit online game Fortnite, filed an antitrust lawsuit against Apple that could reshape how app stores work in the United States. This week, Epic expanded its litigation against Apple to Australia.
Apple has previously said that its fee structure reflects common practice across the digital services industry -- this year, it commissioned a report by the Analysis Group, a consulting firm, affirming that claim. Apple has also said its policies are meant to enhance consumer security.
Asked whether the recent antitrust scrutiny may have played a role in Wednesday's announcement, an Apple spokesman did not provide a direct answer but told CNN Business that it has only ever lowered the fees developers must pay.
Advocates of aggressive antitrust action hailed Wednesday's decision as an outgrowth of the public pressure.
"Just the specter of antitrust action creates market structure change," tweeted Matt Stoller, director of research at the American Economic Liberties Project, citing the House investigation and the Epic litigation.
美国经济自由项目(American Economic Liberties Project)研究主管马特·斯托勒(Matt Stoller)在推特上援引众议院调查和史诗诉讼的话写道：“仅仅是反垄断行动的幽灵就会造成市场结构的改变。”