Microsoft’s Brad Smith calls for more antitrust scrutiny of app stores


Microsoft’s president reckons app stores should be subject to greater antitrust scrutiny.

Angela Lang/CNET

Microsoft President Brad Smith suggested that the app stores of rival companies Apple and Google should be subject to greater antitrust scrutiny because their rules make life difficult for small developers. Without explicitly naming Apple or Google, he told Politico that companies had “created higher walls and far more formidable gates” for their app stores than there were in the past.

“I do believe the time has come, whether we’re talking about Washington, D.C., or Brussels, for a much more focused conversation about the nature of app stores,” Smith said in the Politico interview, referring to the rules and cuts taken by the companies.

His comments came two days after Europe’s Competition Commission opened dual investigations into Apple Pay and the App Store.

Apple has also come under scrutiny regarding its handling of the subscription-based emailing app Hey, as noted by TechCrunch. Its developers tweeted that updates had been rejected multiple times, apparently because Hey wasn’t offering an in-app purchase for the full $99-a-year service. The app lacks functionality when downloaded — you have to visit the company’s website to sign up.

Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, told TechCrunch on Thursday that the company wasn’t currently considering any changes to the App Store rules.

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