Elon Musk hasn’t closed on the Twitter purchase yet, but it looks like he’s already gearing up for another battle.
In a pair of late-night tweets, posted just four minutes apart, Musk raised concerns about Apple’s business practices, specifically those surrounding Spotify and app store guidelines.
The first was a response to Spotify founder Daniel Ek’s tweet, which highlighted a New York Times story about Apple rejecting Spotify’s new app three times as the streaming service adds audiobooks to its offerings. Apple says the new app violates its rules detailing how developers communicate with customers about online purchases.
Ek used the story as a launching pad to denounce the policies, saying, “I can’t be the only one who sees the absurdity.” Musk seemed to agree, replying “Concerning.”
Moments later, he voiced support for venture capitalist Bill Lee’s criticism of Apple’s 30% fee for in-app purchases, agreeing that “30% is a lot.”
Criticism of Apple and its app store policies is nothing new, of course. Spotify has clashed with Apple before, when it started offering podcasts. And Epic Games took Apple to court last year over the policies, resulting in a split decision in which the judge confirmed the app store structure was legal.
Musk loves a good fight, though, and this isn’t the first time he’s hit Apple. In May, he tweeted that “the Apple store is like having a 30% tax on the internet. It’s definitely not right,” following up with “Literally 10 times higher than it should be.”
And in July 2021, during a Tesla earnings call, he discussed plans allowing competitors to use the company’s electric vehicle charging network, saying, “We want to emphasize that our goal is to support the advent of electric sustainable. It is not about creating a walled garden and using it to beat up our competitors, which is what some companies use.”
He then pretended to cough and added “Apple”.
So does Musk’s new criticism of Apple mean he’s reviving the feud (somewhat one-sided)? It’s possible. Tesla and Apple have attracted employees to each other in the past, and Musk tried to talk to Apple about the possibility of buying Tesla in the automaker’s early days, but Tim Cook refused the meeting.
Apple, as it has done in the past, did not publicly respond to Musk’s comments.
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