Apple in trouble between Antitrust, Epic Games and China
The Cupertino giant has recently been attacked on several fronts.
The EU Antitrust, which has spoken out against Apple, is just the latest in a series of subjects who, for different reasons, have contributed to a series of jolts to the company’s stability.
Moreover, by the same admission of its CEO Tim Cook, in the near future will have to undo the very important knot of succession at the helm of the company.
After the enlightened management of Steve Jobs, in fact, the decade under the leadership of Cook is about to draw to a close.
Let’s retrace the latest events that were somewhat destabilizing for the company founded by Jobs. Starting from the most recent, or from the accusations of the EU Antitrust against Apple.
Apple and the EU Antitrust: NFC payments in the sights
As we have already pointed out in another article, the European Union Antitrust accuses Apple. The commission’s doubts relate to NFC (Near Field Communication) payment technologies: contactless payments, so to speak.
The news was previewed by Reuters, although the first accusations of the European Antitrust against Apple had already been leveled in June last year.
The company is accused of the fact that payments by bringing the iPhone to the Pos can only be made via Apple Pay. This would lead to an advantageous position compared to competitors, but above all it would violate the rules on the principles of competition.
Reuters reports that the European Union is moving to send Cook’s company a very high fine, estimated at around 27.4 billion euros.
Apple and the Dutch Antitrust
There’s more. The Dutch Antitrust has also made recent accusations against Apple.
Specifically, the Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets has pointed the finger at an alleged abuse of power on the AppStore. Without mentioning any fines, the Dutch Antitrust has asked Apple to intervene to improve the situation. To date, in fact, the in-app payment system provides commissions between 15% and 30% for developers. And this could constitute the crime of abuse of a dominant position.
The Apple-Epic Games trial
This argument inevitably leads us to the recent outcome of the process that saw Apple pitted against Epic Games.
The diatribe was born because Epic Games had circumvented the obligation to pay the commissions for the download of his very lucky Fortnite. As a result, Apple had removed the game from the store.
In summary (to learn more, see our other article) the judges ruled that the Cupertino-based company cannot “prohibit developers from including buttons, external links, or other calls to action in their apps and metadata that direct customers to purchase mechanisms.in addition to In-App purchases. “
Moreover, South Korea recently passed the Telecommunications Business Act, a law that requires all major tech companies to allow developers to use alternative payment systems.
Apple and China
Negative consequences for Apple could also come from China, and its squeeze on video games.
The Beijing government has in fact decided to take drastic measures against gaming addiction. 213 companies have signed an agreement: facial recognition software will be used to identify minors who use video games. And that, on weekdays, they will have access to video games for a maximum of ninety minutes, in the time slot that goes from 8 in the morning to 22.
These strict rules contrast with the fact that China is the first market in the world of mobile games. Just think that, as the Wall Street Journal recalled, three of the five most profitable games for the App Store are Chinese. Honor of Kings in 2020 earned the US company $ 2.5 billion.
And if the total expenditure on downloading games from the App Store last year was $ 45 billion, 31% of that amount was paid by Chinese citizens.
The after Tim Cook
If all these aspects create more than some uncertainty for Apple from a legal and economic point of view, the other big open question is that of the post Tim Cook..
The current CEO has in fact openly declared that his tenure at the head of the company is almost over. There are persistent rumors that Steve Jobs’ former right-hand man will leave after the launch of a new product category.
If the transition from Jobs to Cook brought excellent results, it is because Steve Jobs was able to choose the right man. And he “forced” him to get rid of his heavy legacy: “Go your own way and don’t ask yourself every time: What would Steve do now?”
But will Tim Cook be just as far-sighted?