Facebook, Apple Chiefs unleash barbs as the feud deepens on the App Store

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Apple has argued that its App Store delivers billions of dollars to independent developers.

San Francisco, United States:

A feud between tech giants intensified Thursday when Apple’s chief executive suggested that Facebook’s business model encourages disinformation and violence while the social network reportedly prepares an antitrust lawsuit against Apple.

The lawsuit accuses Apple of abusing control of its app store by asking outside app developers like Facebook to adhere to rules that don’t apply to their own apps, The Information magazine reported.

“As we have said repeatedly, we believe that Apple is behaving anticompetitively by using control of the App Store to improve the bottom line at the expense of app developers and small businesses,” Facebook told AFP, declining to approve or reject the report.

Apple didn’t respond to a request for comment, but CEO Tim Cook appeared to be targeting Facebook when he blew up “algorithmic disinformation and conspiracy theories” according to reports from CNBC and CNBC during a virtual privacy conference Thursday in Brussels chased The Wall Street Journal.

Cook didn’t mention Facebook by name, but rather impaled business models based on targeted advertising, which media reports say make up the bulk of the social network’s revenue.

“If a company is based on misleading users, on data usage, and on decisions that are not decisions at all, it doesn’t deserve our praise,” Cook was quoted as saying.

He argued that the fact that online platforms serve as a stage for extremist groups or sow doubts about life-saving vaccines can lead to “polarization, loss of confidence and yes, violence,” according to media reports.

The tech giants have argued over changes in the latest version of Apple’s iOS operating system software, which includes a tracking transparency feature that Facebook says will affect its ability to serve targeted ads.

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, said during a conference call with investors on Wednesday that Apple would become one of the company’s biggest competitors.

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“Apple has every incentive to use its dominant platform position to affect the way our apps and other apps work, which they regularly do to favor their own,” Zuckerberg said.

“Apple might say they are doing this to help people, but the steps are clearly in their competitive interests.”

Facebook isn’t alone in its complaints about how Apple runs the App Store, which collects 30 percent of sales or subscription fees from third-party offerings.

Some developers say Apple takes too much of its revenue and has strict guidelines that may hamper competing services. Fortnite manufacturer Epic Games has brought Apple to court over the practice.

Apple has argued that its app store is delivering billions of dollars to independent developers and that its practices are reasonable compared to other digital marketplaces.

Apple still makes most of its money from iPhone sales, but has primarily sold games, shows, music, and more to those who are dedicated to their devices.

(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and posted from a syndicated feed.)

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