During a hearing before House’s anti-corruption committee on Wednesday, Apple CEO Tim Cook testified that “we apply the rules to all developers evenly” as far as the App Store is concerned. But documents uncovered by the subcommittee’s investigation show that Apple senior vice president Eddie Kew is offering Amazon a unique deal in 2016: Apple will charge only a 15 percent fee for subscriptions signed through the app, compared to the standard 30 percent. which most developers need to provide over.
An email from Cue to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos lists the terms agreed upon:
We now know how Apple persuaded Amazon to finally put Prime Video on the App Store in 2017: Apple agreed to take only 15% of the revenue from Prime Video subscriptions made on iOS, compared to 30% they took from others . https://t.co/vscPLYKFe2 pic.twitter.com/75e46VGiai
– Mark Gurman (@markgurman) July 29, 2020
The meeting took place in 2016, at which time Bezos said he was waiting for “acceptable business conditions” before launching the Prime Video app on Apple’s platforms. It is under pressure whether the terms could include a 30 percent reduction in the App Store, Bezos said On the edgeNilay Patel that “discussions about private business must remain private.”
Earlier this year, Amazon Prime Video iOS and Apple TV apps began allowing customers to make in-app purchases, including renting and buying movies and TV shows. The change was a huge change for Amazon, which previously did not allow users to rent or buy content in the Prime Video app in the App Store. According to Bloomberg, Apple does not take its usual 30 percent discount on these content transactions.
This 30 percent fee for the App Store is part of Spotify’s complaint against Apple in the European Union. “In recent years, Apple has introduced rules in the App Store that deliberately limit choice and stifle innovation at the expense of the user experience – essentially playing as a player and referee to intentionally harm other app developers,” wrote Spotify CEO Daniel Ek. A blog post for 2019. In Wednesday’s hearing, Cook repeatedly pointed out that the rate dropped to 15 percent after customers entered their second year of subscription, but that didn’t do much to silence Apple critics.