Elon Musk: Apple’s App Store Fees Are a ‘De Facto Global Tax on the Internet’

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter today to criticize Apple’s App Store fees in a tweet that sides with Epic in the ongoing Epic v. Apple dispute.

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“Epic is right,” wrote Musk, before going on to call Apple’s ‌App Store‌ fees a “de facto global tax on the Internet.”

Musk earlier this week made veiled comments about ‌App Store‌ fees, but today’s statement is a much more direct criticism.

During Tesla’s earnings call, Musk said that Tesla was planning to let other companies use its charger network because Tesla does not want to “create a walled garden” and use that to “bludgeon” competitors. Musk said that this is a tactic used by “some companies,” and then he fake coughed and said “Apple.”

Epic Games launched a major dispute with Apple in August 2020, defying the ‌App Store‌ rules and getting popular game Fortnite removed from the ‌App Store‌. After that, ‌Epic Games‌ launched a planned lawsuit to call out Apple’s ‌App Store‌ fees and restrictions.

Apple and ‌Epic Games‌ went to trial earlier this year, and we’re waiting to hear the outcome. ‌Epic Games‌ is aiming for alternate app store or app loading options, while Apple wants to maintain the status quo.

Musk has clashed with Apple over the years due to employee poaching issues, but this is the first time he’s directly spoken out about Apple’s ‌App Store‌ policies. Tesla does not have a paid app in the ‌App Store‌ and is not impacted by fees.

Musk also took to Twitter today to deny claims that he’d once asked to be the CEO of Tesla. A new book says that Musk once called Cook about a potential Apple acquisition of Tesla. The book claims that Musk asked to be CEO of Apple, at which point Cook said “F– you” and hung up the phone.

According to Musk, he has never spoken or written to Cook, and while there was one point where he requested a meeting with Cook about a potential acquisition, Cook refused to meet. Cook has also said that he has never spoken with Musk.

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