Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook and Instagram, has criticised the role of Apple’s App Store in an interview with
Axios. Zuckerberg considers the dominance of the App Store, and the fact that it’s the only (official) source for apps in the iOS/iPadOS ecosystem, to be problematic.
“Well, I certainly think that they [Apple] have the unilateral control of what gets on the phones, in terms of apps,” Zuckerberg said. “So I think there are questions that people should be looking into, about that control of the App Store, and whether that is enabling a robust competitive dynamic.”
By contrast, Zuckerberg praised Android as a more open platform that also allows the installation of apps from other sources and alternative app stores.
Given that Facebook itself has been the focus of multiple investigations, Zuckerberg acknowledges that he’s not necessarily in the best position to criticise the business practices of other companies. Nevertheless, he makes no secret of the fact that he views Apple’s policies as questionable.
When asked if the App Store’s terms and conditions should be investigated by the authorities, Zuckerberg replied, “I think I’m not necessarily the person to answer that… but I think some of the behaviour certainly raises questions. And I do think it’s something that deserves scrutiny. And they’re getting scrutiny for it.”
For the most part, Zuckerberg’s comments have not been well received by viewers of the interview. Some argue that, through his own controversies with Facebook, Zuckerberg long ago lost the right to criticise others for the abuse of market dominance. Other viewers accuse Zuckerberg of making the criticisms out of self-interest, since Facebook and Apple are in a competitive relationship.
This isn’t the first time Zuckerberg has publicly questioned Apple’s policies. Last month he queried its practice of
collecting fees from paid Facebook Events. Facebook has also been critical of
privacy features in iOS 14, although here the company’s self-interest is particularly difficult to ignore.
This article originally appeared on
Macwelt. Translation by David Price.