The Coalition of App Fairness is fighting the Cupertino tech giant for its request to subpoena its documents. Apple is facing multiple antitrust cases in the United States and at EU by Spotify, Epic Games, and other members of the coalition. Therefore, the company has filed for three subpoenas for the Coalition of App Fairness for internal communication of the organization’s members.
Spotify, Epic Games, Tile, Match Group, Deezer, and other developers have formed the non-profit organization ‘Coalition of App Fairness’, along with publisher trade group for freedom of choice and fair competition across all app ecosystems. However, the group’s primary target is Apple, the coalition accuses the Cupertino tech giant of anti-competitive behavior by charging “unfair” commission for in-app purchases via its digital marketplace.
Coalition of App Fairness attempts to block Apple’s subpoenas claiming it could ‘chill candor’
Apple insider reports that Apple’s “subpoenas request a number of documents and communications within the coalition and between its members, including its formation, activities, meeting minutes, recruitment efforts, financing, and member lists.”
Which the coalition does not want to hand over and has filed with the US District Court for the District of Columbia on July 8 to block Cupertino tech company’s request. The organization argues that the court should dismiss Apple’s request because it could “chill the candor” of member discussions and confidential political communications and could block members’ access to App Store.
The group also claims members fear the disclosure could “expose them to retaliation given Apple’s ability to control access to it (sic) ubiquitous iOS platform.” Namely, there is the worry that Apple could use communications it receives as a reason to block App Store access to coalition members.
It is claimed Apple cannot meet a “heightened relevance standard” that the documents will go “to the heart of the lawsuit” and is of “central or crucial importance to the case.” The coalition insists the materials have no bearing on any existing antitrust matters that Apple is connecting the subpoenas, and that it amounts to a “fishing expedition into materials protected by the First Amendment.”
The EU has charged the Cupertino tech giant with anti-competitive behavior on Spotify’s complaint and after a revealing Epic Games trial, the company is waiting for the judge’s ruling. The company has revised the App Store commission structure by reducing the in-app purchases rate to 15% for small developers who earn equal to or less than $1 million annually.