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Action against Apple Computer, Inc. for Anti-trust & Restriction of Trade

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Apple has made a business out of restricting trade, price fixing, and monopolistic practices. This problem affects millions of people around the globe, but especially Americans.

Apple Computer, Inc. is aggressively building business centers outside of the United States presumably to escape or mitigate the fallout of successful Antitrust proceedings, and tax liability. 

As an app developer I have had many personal interactions with representatives from Apple Computer, Inc who acknowledge the issue. Senator Al Franken has taken aim at this issue as it relates to Apple Music, but that is just the tip of the iceberg. The monopolistic nature of this company is systemic.

I became aware of the injustices Apple routinely perpetrates as I was preparing to launch my application. Before anyone can publish his or her app to the AppStore they must enter into a highly restrictive, and unfair agreement with the Monopoly.

My serious concerns in dealing with Apple and being forced to sign an agreement are listed below.

In essence app store publishers have no choice other than to enter into a contract containing provisions bordering on unconscionable. The contract restricts the ability to make money, distribute product, it is highly controlling, and coercive. iOS Developers have no alternative other than to sign the Development and Distribution Contracts, and thus I did:

1) App Store publishers are restricted from marketing iOS application through any other distribution channels. Publishers are forced into a distribution agreement with the AppStore that would completely restrict the ability to market apps to tens, if not hundreds, of millions of people outside of the agreement. - Apple also removes apps form their store that reference other operating systems (ie - Android/Google)

I reasonably believed unless I signed the contract and played by Apple's restrictive rules, I would not be able to reach ~ 13 % of the worldwide mobile device market, accounting for nearly 50% of mobile app based revenue. Unless I signed this agreement, my application could not be installed on even one iPhone. This is unfair, and restriction of trade by definition.

2) Apple takes 30% of gross revenues.

3) Apple controls what publishers/musicians/artists charge.
Publishers cannot name their price, as Apple forces a pricing matrix requiring developers to choose specific pricing ending in 99 cents. Under these rules publishers cannot control what their intellectual property costs.

4) Apple controls to whom publishers can send BETA releases and how.
Tesftlight testing protocol has failed for a year. Invitations are not sent out to BETA testers within the program using their protocol so that testers can download the updated programs to devices. This is a paid for service thought the Apple Developer program. It costs $99.00 per year. The lackluster technical and customer support rendered over the course of a year, has not resolved any of the technical problems experienced with Apple's program. Publishers are consistently shuffled around through multiple levels of support with people who have no technical knowledge to resolve the glaring problems in distribution of BETA testing programs. I have personally spent hours going through levels of support not receiving responses and hanging on hold for hours at a time while Apple pumps loud and distorted music/noise through the receiver.

5) Apple requires publishers to use APPLE hardware and software to deal with them, as well as to develop and distribute the application.
To receive any support or write the software and develop the product we are required to own and use only Apple computers, and Apple Software. To submit support requests we are required to use Apple Safari browsers which are not available for Windows PC hardware. Each support person reminds us that our contract with them requires us to use Apple products to develop for iPhone.

Publishers have no other choice but to sign this contract, and deal with them under these conditions if they want to distribute applications to ANY iPhone owner.

Please bear in mind as of tonight there are more than 1 million apps in the App Store. Time is of the essence. We had no other option but to sign this contract to Develop for iPhone.

 



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