A settlement between The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and mobile gaming platform Tapjoy also took aim at Apple and Google and how both companies control their platforms.
The FTC recently settled with Tapjoy over claims it used false advertising offers for the promise of in-game rewards that weren’t given. However, the settlement didn’t see to end of that story. Recently, two democratic FTC regulators said that it was Apple and Google who helped create the environment that incentivizes mobile gaming industry players to seek compensation and awards.
FTC commissioners take a dig at Apple and Google in settlement with Tapjoy
As reported by CNBC, in a statement from commissioners Rohit Chopra and Rebecca Kelly Slaughter, the FTC said Tapjoy failed to properly control its mobile gaming advertising platform, defrauding developers and gamers out of promised compensation and awards.
“It appears that Tapjoy amplified false offers by its business partners, who baited gamers with big rewards only to cheat them when it was time to pay up,” they wrote. “Tapjoy did little to clean up the mess, even when hundreds of thousands of gamers filed complaints. This also harmed developers of mobile games, who were cheated of advertising revenue they were entitled to.”
However, the commissioners widened their criticism by saying Tapjoy was, “a minnow next to the gatekeeping giants of the mobile gaming industry, Apple and Google.”
“By controlling the dominant app stores, these firms enjoy vast power to impose taxes and regulations on the mobile gaming industry, which was generating nearly $70 billion annually even before the pandemic,” they said.
The commissioners continued by adding that these gatekeepers in the industry can hurt builders and innovation and that underneath the “heavy taxation” from these gamers, developers have been pushed to “different monetization fashions that depend on surveillance, manipulation, and different dangerous practices.”
With the criticism, the App Store has received over the past few years, Apple has not changed its stance that one of the main reasons for its tight control over the App Store is to guarantee that it is a safe place for individuals to use apps. And despite the criticism, the tech giant received from the FTC, Tapjoy is the perfect example of what can happen when Apple does not have control over its platform.