Tim Sweeney, CEO of Epic Games, criticizes Apple over App Store price increases

Today, Apple began implementing increases in the prices of the App Store in all regions and countries that use the euro, and this rise is attributed to the weakness of the euro against the US dollar. Tim Sweeney, CEO of Epic Games, whose company is currently in a legal battle with Apple, spoke about the pricing update and said Apple had no rationale for it.

In a statement, Sweeney likened Apple to a landlord who has tenants who have nowhere else to go as there is no alternative “App Store” for developers to use.

Imagine if the landlord told the small business tenant that they had to increase their rates without any say in the matter or where else they would go. This is what Apple does to developers for no other reason than to increase Apple’s profits. They unilaterally impose price increases on developers across multiple countries without any justification. Developers have no choice but to comply as the App Store is the only way they can reach over a billion iOS users.

Apple first announced the price increases last month, giving developers about three weeks’ notice. App Store pricing operates on a tiered basis, and what Apple does is raise the cost of all pre-set tiers. For example, the minimum level jumped from 0.99 euros to 1.19 euros, while the maximum increased from 999 euros to 1199 euros. Full pricing tiers are listed on the Apple website.

Besides countries that use the euro, Apple is also raising prices in Chile, Egypt, Japan, Malaysia, Pakistan, Poland, South Korea, Sweden and Vietnam.

Developers selling apps in countries that use the euro can lower App Store prices or pass the higher cost on to consumers, but as Sweeney points out, there’s no alternative way for developers to make apps available to customers on iPhones and iPads without using the Apple App Store.

Epic Games and Apple have been embroiled in a long legal battle over Apple’s App Store policies. Sweeney and his company intentionally violated App Store rules and then sued Apple in the hope that the court would order Apple to allow third-party app stores to run on iOS devices.

The lawsuit did not go in favor of Epic Games and Apple was not asked to support alternative app stores. The two companies are now involved in a lengthy appeal process, and Apple is also facing legislation in several countries that may eventually require it to make some changes to allow sideloading.

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