Elon Musk Sides With Epic In Apple App Store Fees Dispute

Elon Musk has publicly sided with Epic Games in its legal battle over Apple’s App Store fees, saying on Twitter that “Epic is right”.

“Apple app store fees are a de facto global tax on the internet. Epic is right,” Musk wrote.

Apple is fending off a competition lawsuit filed by Epic against the iPhone maker last year, claiming Apple abuses its dominance in the mobile applications market.

Epic broke Apple’s App Store conditions by introducing its own in-app payment system to the popular game Fortnite, circumventing Apple’s payment system.

Apple has defended its App Store practices in court as well as before lawmakers in hearings, saying they are justified on security grounds.

‘Unreasonable’

Musk said on Twitter that while he likes using Apple products, the company is “overcharging with App Store”.

“I mean 30 percent fees for doing almost zero incremental work is completely unreasonable,” he wrote. “Epic wouldn’t bother processing their own payments if App Store fees were fair.”

Separately, Musk denied a report that he once discussed with Tim Cook a possible acquisition of Musk’s electric carmaker Tesla that would have involved Musk taking over as Apple’s chief executive.

The report, made in a new book about Tesla by Wall Street Journal reporter Tim Higgins, suggests Musk insisted to Cook in 2013 that he become Apple’s chief executive in exchange for allowing Apple to buy Tesla.

The report is similar to a rumour that surfaced in 2019 that Apple had once tried to buy Tesla, but wanted Musk to leave the company as a condition of the acquisition.

Acquisition rumours

Analyst Craig Irwin of Roth Capital Partners told CNBC that alleged incident had occurred “around 2013”.

Musk acknowledged that he once requested a discussion with Cook about acquiring Tesla but that the meeting never happened.

“There was a point where I requested to meet with Cook to talk about Apple buying Tesla. There were no conditions of acquisition proposed whatsoever. He refused to meet,” Musk tweeted.

“I don’t want to be CEO of anything,” he added, in response to a comment.

Musk also spoke last year of his proposal to Apple, which he said was made in 2017, during a challenging period for Tesla.

His remarks came days after Musk criticised Apple during a Tesla earnings call last week, in which he criticised Apple’s tightly controlled “walled garden” technology and its use of cobalt, a key material in manufacturing lithium-ion batteries.

Matthew Broersma

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

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