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Elon Musk calls out Apple's App Store fees for being a 'global tax on the internet'

Business Insider logo Business Insider 7/30/2021 insider@insider.com (Katie Canales)
Elon Musk, Tim Cook are posing for a picture: Brendan Smialowski/AFP, Richard Drew/Associated Press © Provided by Business Insider Brendan Smialowski/AFP, Richard Drew/Associated Press
  • Elon Musk said Apple's App Store fees are "a de facto global tax on the internet."
  • He also said "Epic is right" as the "Fortnite" creator remains locked in a legal battle with Apple.
  • Epic argues that the App Store is a monopoly since it takes a cut from all in-app purchases.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk tweeted Friday that "Epic is right" in its lawsuit alleging Apple's App Store is anticompetitive.

The executive said that the company's app store fees "are a de facto global tax on the Internet."

Gaming giant Epic, the creator of "Fortnite," is currently embroiled with Apple in a legal battle over the phone maker's App Store. Apple takes a 15% to 30% cut from all in-app purchases, a practice that developers have long rallied against since they say it gives the company an unfair advantage. Apple's own apps are exempt from the fee.

Epic kicked off the lawsuit in the summer of 2020 after it skirted Apple's App Store fee by implementing its own payment system into the "Fortnite" game. Apple booted the app from its store as a result.

Facebook reportedly said in December that it would back Epic in its fight against Apple.

Apple is one of the Big Four tech companies that has faced considerable antitrust scrutiny in recent years, scrutiny that has only mounted since last summer. CEO Tim Cook testified before Congress alongside other executives as part of an ongoing investigation into online market competition.

Lawmakers are cracking down on tech's biggest players for various reasons. For example, Google has been probed over its search and online ads business, and Apple has been scrutinized over its App Store.

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