Microsoft manager demands general attack on the app store cartels

Microsoft manager demands general attack on the app store cartels
Microsoft manager demands general attack on the app store cartels

Microsoft’s top manager Brad Smith has called for a general attack on the concept of app stores on mobile platforms. After all, his company had been severely punished by the competition authorities for far smaller offences.

"I think the time has come to have a very much focused discussion about the nature of the app stores, the rules that apply in them and the prices and fees. And whether there is a correct evaluation for all this on the basis of the anti-cartel laws. "This applies to both Washington, D.C., and Brussels," Smith said in an interview with US magazine Politico.

The two major providers of mobile platforms, Apple and Google, each operate their own download platforms, through which they more or less regulate access to their systems. Apple is more restrictive and prevents every path from passing its Appstore. Google grants more freedom with Android, but here too the Play Store has a dominant position and it is hardly possible to make an application past it a success.

We were punished for less hard

Smith directly compared this to the competition process, at the end of which Microsoft received heavy penalties. At the time, the company was abusing the dominance of its Windows operating system in order to enforce its own browser on the market and ultimately force the market leader Netscape to give up. From the perspective of the Microsoft manager, however, the mobile platform operators with their app stores would have established far stronger control mechanisms than anything that would have been conceivable in the industry 20 years ago.

In parts, the approach of the large providers is scratched. For example, the current debate is about the email app Hey, which is not allowed on iOS by Apple due to violations of the Appstore rules. The app can only be used after a license subscription has been completed - but it cannot be purchased via the platform’s billing service, which means that Apple is not able to claim its 30 percent revenue share. And the EU Commission has already initiated a procedure on payment methods.

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