Apple CEO Tim Cook Cites iPhone ‘Principles’ As Reason Behind In-App Purchase Rules In Court, Don’t Want ‘Toxic Kind Of Mess’


Apple Inc.  CEO Tim Cook said that iPhone’s “set of principles” regarding safety and privacy was the reason behind the tech giant’s in-app purchase rules and the commission it received from in-app purchases is necessary to avoid “a toxic kind of mess.”What Happened: Cook made the comments during his first-ever courtroom testimony Friday in “Fortnite” video game maker Epic Games’ antitrust lawsuit against Apple, according to a report by NPR.

U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers asked Cook what his problem was with allowing iPhone users the choice of having a cheaper option, especially for gaming content.

Cook replied that customers have a choice between an iPhone and different phone models running on Android, the competing mobile operating system owned by Alphabet Inc.’s (NASDAQ: GOOG) (NASDAQ: GOOGL) Google, as per the report.

Cook also defended Apple’s commission on in-app purchases and its control of the App Store, saying it was required for the tech giant’s security and privacy promises to iPhone users.

Rogers noted that Apple’s decision in November last year to cut in half its commission for small developers seemed to be a result of the pressure the company faced from investigations and lawsuits, and not from the competition. According to the report, Cook admitted that the lawsuits were in “our head.”

Why It Matters: In August last year, Apple and Alphabet were taken to court by Epic Games after the “Fortnite” game was removed from the app stores run by the two technology companies. The removal came after Epic Games tried to bypass a 30% cut charged on in-game purchases by the two companies.

Apple and Google have been facing several allegations surrounding their app store policies, including fees for digital purchases, and the lack of competition in app stores. Apple has rejected third-party payment tools for in-app purchases.

Apple’s decision to slash its App Store fees to 15% for small businesses was replicated by Google in March this year. However, according to estimates from app analytics firm Sensor Tower in March, the move by Apple and Alphabet to cut app store fees will not make any significant negative impact on their revenues.

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