Telegram CEO disses Apple’s App Store tax, calls it a trillion-dollar monopoly abusing market dominance
Apple, and Google have faced a ton of criticism and even government attention over the app profit cuts that these companies take. Apple even amended its system a bit to ensure that the previously across-the-board 30% cut was instead only coming from developers that make over $1 million a year, with smaller developers having to give up a smaller share.
However, it still is seen as unfair, especially since often this 30% tax can cover transactions that shouldn’t be. Telegram, one of the most popular chat apps, recently had to remove its paid posts feature thanks to Apple, and its CEO is not happy about it.
Apple destroys dreams and crushes entrepreneurs, says Telegram CEO
Durov’s comments come after Telegram had to disable the paid posts feature on iOS, upon Apple’s request. The feature let users process third-party donations and have pay-to-view bots, and Apple allegedly wanted a cut on those payments, even though Telegram wasn’t charging users for it.
Durov said on his Telegram channel, “Unfortunately, we received word from Apple that they were not happy with content creators monetizing their efforts without paying a 30% tax to Apple. Since Apple has complete control over its ecosystem, we had no alternative but to disable such paid posts on iOS devices.“
It does seem a little unfair given Apple has had a deal with Amazon to exclude certain payments from the App Store tax, as it’s called. Although Apple amended its policies around this tax in 2020, it may not have been enough.
Durov continued to criticize Apple’s practices, pointing out how Apple’s tax is higher than any government tax. He wrote, “This is just another example of how a trillion-dollar monopoly abuses its market dominance at the expense of millions of users who are trying to monetize their own content. I hope that the regulators in the EU, India and elsewhere start taking action before Apple destroys more dreams and crushes more entrepreneurs with a tax that is higher than any government-levied VAT.“
Telegram is among the top 10 most popular apps globally, available on Apple’s best iPhones, best iPads, and best Macs, so Durov’s statements are definitely important. Apple is yet to respond, but these statements will likely hold some importance in a future investigation from regulators against Apple’s practices.