The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) stated that mobile app stores including Apple and Google squeeze developers.
The commission that app stores receive from developers has been the subject before. Especially in August, Epic, made this issue widespread by declaring a war against Apple and Google. Meanwhile, Apple banned Epic from App Store. Although the company filed a lawsuit for it, it eventually lost its lawsuit against Apple.
Referring to a similar issue in a statement, FTC described the iOS and Android platform holders as “gatekeeping giants”. The statement highlighted that both platforms have “vast power to impose taxes and regulations on the mobile gaming industry.”
“We should all be concerned that gatekeepers can harm developers and squelch innovation. The clearest example is rent extraction. Apple and Google charge mobile app developers on their platforms up to 30 percent of sales. And even bar developers from trying to avoid this tax through offering alternative payment systems.”
“While larger gaming companies are pursuing legal action against these practices, developers and small businesses risk severe retaliation for speaking up, including outright suspension from app stores – an effective death sentence.”
They will reveal all the structural issues
The Commission also suggested that these “rent extraction” practices could be the reason why developers are turning to more revenue out of gamers. The FTC described the loot box monetization tactics that the developers turned to as “dark patterns and other deceptions” that bait players to spend cash.
Within the same statement, the commission gave warning and advice to Tapjoy, who could not prevent deceptive advertisements.
Ultimately, the FTC said it would use all the tools at its disposal to address the “deeper structural issues” affecting the mobile gaming market, and made a clear warning, reiterating that it will continue to push people like Apple and Google.
The full statement by the FTC’s commissioners Rohit Chopra and Rebecca Kelly Slaughter can be found here.