Elon Musk versus Tim Cook.
The competition between two companies that symbolize tech innovation has never been so intense.
Musk, the serial entrepreneur, sees himself as the most revolutionary CEO of the moment and seems to think he has eclipsed Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple.
The billionaire and Tesla executives have never ceased criticizing Apple. In February, Franz von Holzhausen, Tesla chief designer, said that Apple had not invented anything for a very long time.
“Oh my God, I’ve heard about Apple products now is like there’s nothing to look forward to. Right!” Franz von Holzhausen told Spike’s Car radio in February.
“I feel like it’s just a continuation. It’s just kind of a slight refinement on the same thing,” he said. “Inspirationally, it’s been hard to get, you know, super motivated by what they’re doing.”
Elon Musk, the chief executive of Tesla, likes to revive this rivalry.
And the occasion couldn’t be better as he cements his persona as the most influential CEO on the planet with more than 90 million followers on the microblogging website Twitter.
The Fees Imposed by Apple Are Too High
The tech tycoon, who usually fight his detractors in public, has just gotten involved in a hot topic about Apple. It is safe to say we that Musk and Apple won’t make peace anytime soon.
The billionaire notably commented on a post on Twitter relating to an article reporting that PayPal, the payments service co-founded by Musk, had prompted European regulators to open an antitrust investigation against Apple’s payments service.
Musk and his partners sold PayPal.
“PayPal Helped Spur EU Antitrust Complaint Against Apple Payments,” posted Twitter account Slashdot on May 3
“Apple’s store is like having a 30% tax on the Internet,” Musk commented.
The billionaire didn’t stop there: “Definitely not ok.”
A few minutes later the mogul added a layer of criticism.
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“Literally 10 times higher than it should be,” Musk said.
Apple takes a 30% commission on the revenue generated by companies that use the App Store to distribute their applications to consumers on iPhones and tablets.
That fee applies to in-app sales as well as in-app purchases.
That amount is more or less standard today, and although Apple has better relationships with some developers than others, it provides great visibility.
Apple has also never changed its 30% commission.
But the fee has been at the center of a legal battle between Apple and the video game publisher Epic Games, behind the very popular game “Fortnite.”
Apple had indeed ejected Epic from the Apple Store in 2020 after the video game publisher introduced its own payment service to circumvent the famous 30% fee.
During the trial, Apple revealed, for example, that the 30% commission had enabled it to generate some $100 million in revenue from “Fortnite” during the period when the game was available on the App Store.
And while a federal judge may have seen Apple’s reasoning, the manufacturer of the iPhone has drawn the wrath of almost all the corners of tech.
Musk Is a Regular Critic of Apple
During the Apple v. Epic trial, Musk had already sharply criticized Tim Cook’s group.
“Apple app store fees are a de facto global tax on the Internet,” the billionaire posted on July 30, 2021. “Epic is right.”
Mark Zuckerberg, another great “enemy” of Cook, had for his part publicized a Facebook post establishing the difference between Facebook (FB) – Get Meta Platforms Inc. Class A Report and Apple in terms of fees.
The CEO of Facebook said that in particular, the giant of social networks aimed to protect creators rather than to impose exorbitant fees on them.
“We’re also launching a new payout interface so creators can see how different companies’ fees and taxes are impacting their earnings. More to come soon.” Zuckerberg wrote at the time.
“When we do introduce a revenue share, it will be less than the 30 percent that Apple and others take,” Zuckerberg said.
Apple, however, is not the only marketplace to take a cut on the revenue generated by other companies that use their platform.
Twitch, Amazon (AMZN) – Get Amazon.com, Inc. Report, Google (GOOGL) – Get Alphabet Inc. Class A Report and eBay (EBAY) – Get eBay Inc. Report offer marketplaces and charge a commission. This amount varies by platform.