ELON MUSK SAYS APPLE’S APP STORE FEES ARE A ‘GLOBAL TAX ON THE INTERNET’ AND SIDES WITH FORTNITE DEVELOPER EPIC

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ELON MUSK

According to Tesla boss Elon Musk, Apple’s App Store fees are akin to a “global Internet tax.

Mr. Musk suggested that he supports Fortnite developer Epic in the ongoing feud between the two companies over the fees they charge on App Store purchases.

“Apple’s app store fees are a de facto global tax on the Internet,” Mr. Musk wrote in a tweet. “Epic is right.

Apple and Epic – and several other developers – have been in a public feud over App Store rules for more than a year. Epic claims they are anti-competitive and should be changed, and has filed a series of lawsuits in an attempt to force Apple to do so.

Under the current rules, Apple gets 30 percent of app sales from its App Store and gives the rest to developers. Apple also gets 30 percent of electronic goods and services sales through the store, as well as subscriptions – and requires that iPhone and iPad apps use only its own payment services, so there’s no way around that share.

The ongoing dispute erupted last year when Epic introduced its own payment system for in-game currency purchases on Fortnite. Fortnite was quickly removed from the App Store, and disputes between Apple, Epic, regulators and other developers have been ongoing ever since.

Mr. Musk’s remarks came shortly after another series of Apple-related tweets. He denied a report claiming that CEO Tim Cook swore at him during negotiations over a possible Tesla buyout.

A review of a new book called Power Play, about Tesla and Elon Musk, included the story that Mr. Cook called Mr. Musk and suggested Apple buy Tesla. Mr. Musk allegedly said he would only support the deal if he was named Apple’s chief executive — which prompted Mr. Cook to say “f*** you” and hang up, according to the report.

But Mr. Musk said the two executives never spoke. That echoed a recent statement by Mr. Cook in which he said he had never spoken to Mr. Musk.

“Cook and I have never spoken or written to each other,” Mr. Musk tweeted.

“There was a time when I asked for a meeting with Cook to talk about Apple’s purchase of Tesla. No terms of the acquisition were offered. He refused to meet.

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