Apple has rejected an appeal from the team behind the email app Hey, it emerged Friday. The product continues to be blocked from being in the app store following a dispute in-app subscriptions (via Bloomberg News).

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Apple Blocks Hey Email Service From App Store

Hey does not allow users to purchase a subscription to its service within the app.  This process is designed to bypass paying Apple a revenue share of up to 30 percent. While some ‘reader’ apps are exempted from, Hey was not. In a letter to the apps, developer, Basecamp, Apple said:

The Hey Email app is marketed as an email app on the App Store, but when users download your app, it does not work. Users cannot use the app to access email or perform any useful function until after they go to the Basecamp website for Hey Email and purchase a license to use the Hey Email app.

CTO David Heinemeier Hansson previously vowed not to introduce in-app subscriptions. He previously rowed with Apple in November 2019, claiming the fact he was offered a higher credit limit for the Apple Card than his wife as proof of a sexist system.

Microsoft President Joins in Criticism

Antitrust allegations against the App Store are though growing. Microsoft President Brad Smith told a Politico event Thursday that:

They [Apple] impose requirements that increasingly say there is only one way to get on to our platform and that is to go through the gate that we ourselves have created,” Smith said. “In some cases they create a very high price per toll — in some cases 30% of your revenue has to go to the toll keeper.

“The time has come — whether we are talking about D.C. or Brussels — for a much more focused conversation about the nature of app stores, the rules that are being put in place, the prices and the tolls that are being extracted and whether there is really a justification in antitrust law for everything that has been created,” Mr. Smith added. Furthermore, this week the EU launched two antitrust probes into Apple, including one looking at the App Store.

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rjackb

The Apple App Store rules are quite clear so Basecamp doesn’t really have a case. I do think, however, that Apple is a bit greedy with the large cut they take for purchases and subscriptions.