Former Apple App Store Chief: Company’s Rules Are a ‘Weapon Against Competitors’

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Business Insider reports that in the recent House antitrust report, former Apple App Store director Phil Shoemaker criticized the tech giant for anti-competitive practices. Shoemaker discussed multiple gaming services that were banned from the App Store shortly before Apple released its own gaming service. The Apple gaming service appeared to violate the store’s own policies much as the competitors’ apps, but did not face the same scrutiny.

“Apple’s gaming service, Apple Arcade, is a type of app that was ‘consistently disallowed from the store,’ when offered by third-party developers, but Apple allowed its own app in the store ‘even though it violates existing [App Store] guidelines,'” Shoemaker said.

Apple’s reasoning for banning game services such as Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass is that Apple would have to approve every game offered on the Game Pass service for review under Apple’s content guidelines. This would be a long and awkward process that would also require each game to be ranked in App Store charts, enable Apple’s in-app payment system, and require developers to have an Apple developer account.

Shoemaker claims that rather than taking these steps to protect its users, Apple implements “arbitrary” and “arguable” App Store approval guidelines and uses its control of the App Store to further its own business interests over competitors. Shoemaker told the House subcommittee that Apple “has struggled with using the App Store as a weapon against competitors,” and in cases such as Xbox Game Pass and Google Stadia, it was doing exactly that.

“The App Store was created to be a safe and trusted place for customers to discover and download apps, and a great business opportunity for all developers,” an Apple spokesperson told Business Insider at the time. “Before they go on our store, all apps are reviewed against the same set of guidelines that are intended to protect customers and provide a fair and level playing field to developers.”

Read more at Business Insider here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or email him at lnolan@breitbart.com