Apple Hires Economists to Prove App Store is not Anticompetitive

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Apple hired economists from the firm Analysis Group who said in a study that the company’s fees are similar to competitors.

Analysis Group Study

The study [PDF] goal was to compare Apple’s commission rates with other app stores/digital marketplaces and evaluate the App Store commission and its business model. It found that commission rates were similar to the App Store’s 30% fee, although it didn’t examine whether these fees are responsible for stifling innovation or are fair, as some developers believe.

As listed in Table 1, all these app stores charge the same standard commission rate as Apple (30%). Each has its own exceptions, particularly with respect to subscriptions. Commission rates of 15% for subscriptions after 12 months are on the low end of commission rates. For instance, similar to the Apple App Store, Google Play’s commission rate for subscriptions is 15% after 12 months, and Amazon’s commission is 20% for video streaming subscriptions. While the Galaxy Store charges a 30% standard commission rate, it explicitly states that this rate may be negotiable.

This research is Apple’s latest effort to address concerns that it engages in anticompetitive behavior. It faces scrutiny from regulators in Europe and the United States, and Tim Cook will attend a hearing held by the House Judiciary Committee on July 27.

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