Computer oligiopolies rule (25 Aug, 2020)

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Computer oligiopolies rule (25 Aug, 2020)

Postby aardvark_admin » Tue Aug 25, 2020 4:35 am

This column is archived at: https://aardvark.co.nz/daily/2020/0825.shtml

Who will you be cheering for?

The giant Apple who very clearly lays out the terms and conditions of using their App Store to pitch your product, or Epic Games who believe that those terms are unreasonable and an abuse of what amounts to a very strict monopoly over access to the huge market of Apple users of its software?

Could a decision in favour of Epic create a far-reaching precedent that would unsettle those other tech giants who (ab)use their market dominance to extort excessive profits from the market?
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Re: Computer oligiopolies rule (25 Aug, 2020)

Postby phill » Tue Aug 25, 2020 8:32 am

im a user of the epic store

fortnight ( which i havnt played ) and many other games there
on the surface it looks like they are also taking on valve / steam in the game distribution market
but with far less information required to be given
and 1 or 2 free games given away each week

im all for ending the shit pile of greed the monopoly of game distribution has become
apple store and google play for soc's and valve / steam for pc's
( ,,,,,,,, ....... A E I O U use em sparingly theres probably not enough )

i might live and eat in a sewer .. but hey look how many of these shiny things i have got
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Re: Computer oligiopolies rule (25 Aug, 2020)

Postby Perry » Tue Aug 25, 2020 8:39 am

Until there's a viable alternative, is it not just a matter
of grind your teeth and grimace and pay up or p**s off?
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Re: Computer oligiopolies rule (25 Aug, 2020)

Postby hagfish » Tue Aug 25, 2020 9:04 am

I'm ambivalent about this one.

On one hand, it IS Apple's ball, and they CAN dictate the terms. As we know, interfering with the proper functioning of the Market is a slippery slope to CoMmUniSm, breadlines, and mass graves. Apple built their App Store from nothing. It's always been a 30% vig. As a consumer, if you want a good experience - and can afford it - the App Store is there. If not, there's always Google's Play Store. As a developer, if you're making something worthwhile, you can charge for it. The App Store is where the customers are. If not, there's always Google's Play Store.

On the other hand, 30% yeesh. It does seem harder and harder to justify. The rules you have to play by seem less about protecting devs and customers, and more about protecting shareholders. It's not like you can just 'build your own platform'. Taking on a US$2 trillion company is a bit of an ask, for a garage-based startup. It does seem like if Apple were to drop its commission a bit, everyone would be happy. The stock price might take a hit initially, but where else are investors going to put all their QE loot? Tesla? :lol:

I like a benevolent monopoly/dictator. Remember when everything was on Netflix? When everything was on Steam? When everyone was on the FaceBook? And then the inevitable Balkanisation sets in, either via competition, or legal mandate. Where we once all had the same service, we get told we now have 'freedom' and 'choice'. Alas, it's usually the freedom to choose a cheap, shitty version, or the (now) gold-plated version that everyone once enjoyed/grizzled about.
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Re: Computer oligiopolies rule (25 Aug, 2020)

Postby aardvark_admin » Tue Aug 25, 2020 9:25 am

I agree. Thirty percent on the price of purchasing an app would seem reasonable (given the cost of "certifying" the said app). However, taking 30% on any in-app purchases, subscriptions or whatever is just outrageous.

For the 30% on the app purchase the consumer is getting a reasonable value due to the added value the app store vetting provides. What added value do they get for the 30% of a subscription fee or the purchase of some game points or whatever? Certainly nothing that justifies the 30% margin involved.
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Re: Computer oligiopolies rule (25 Aug, 2020)

Postby hagfish » Tue Aug 25, 2020 10:53 am

aardvark_admin wrote:I agree. Thirty percent on the price of purchasing an app would seem reasonable (given the cost of "certifying" the said app). However, taking 30% on any in-app purchases, subscriptions or whatever is just outrageous.

For the 30% on the app purchase the consumer is getting a reasonable value due to the added value the app store vetting provides. What added value do they get for the 30% of a subscription fee or the purchase of some game points or whatever? Certainly nothing that justifies the 30% margin involved.

If Apple took 30% off the top until their 'certification' costs had been covered, then dropped it to a nominal percentage for hosting the app; fine. But the reason Amazon doesn't have a proper App Store app is that Apple would want a 30% cut of everything sold via that app. It's nothing to do with certification - it's naked greed. Apple can do what they want - and they are - but I'm glad Epic has called them out. 'Murica vs the CCP. 12 rounds. Should be interesting.
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Re: Computer oligiopolies rule (25 Aug, 2020)

Postby Malcolm » Tue Aug 25, 2020 11:57 am

It is also a problem if you want to sell something else Apple sells like music. Apple Music doesn't have to pay 30% on each subscription to the app store but Spotify etc does have to pay 30% on each subscription it sells via the app.
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