Epic, Spotify and other Apple critics form coalition to take on App Store rules

The nonprofit Coalition for App Fairness aims to level the playing field for app and game developers.

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More than a dozen app makers and other companies have joined together to form the Coalition for App Fairness, a nonprofit group that's taking aim at Apple and its App Store rules. Among the founding members are Spotify, Epic Games and Match Group, all of which have been vocal critics of the fees Apple charges developers. 

"As enforcers, regulators, and legislators around the world investigate Apple for its anti-competitive behavior, The Coalition for App Fairness will be the voice of app and game developers in the effort to protect consumer choice and create a level playing field for all," said Horacio Gutierrez, head of global affairs at Spotify, in a release on Thursday.

The coalition comes as Apple is locked in a public battle with Fortnite developer Epic Games. Fortnite was kicked off both the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store in August after Epic attempted to bypass the 30% fee Apple and Google charge developers. Epic countered by filing lawsuits against both companies. Apple earlier this month raised the stakes further by requesting monetary damages if it convinces a judge that it was within its rights to kick Fortnite off its more than 1.5 billion active iPhones and iPads.

Apple didn't respond to a request for comment on the coalition. On Thursday, the company published several pages on its website highlighting the benefits of the App Store for users and developers. Apple says the pages provide context for its broader work to support its app store, which now counts more than 28 million developers worldwide, and 1.5 billion devices across 175 countries.

The App Store helps developers "from start to finish -- to build, test, market, and distribute your products and grow your business," says Apple's site.

The Coalition for App Fairness also released a set of 10 App Store Principles that is says will help "protect the app economy" and ensure that the "benefits of digital technologies are shared by everyone."

Here is the full list of coalition's founding members: Basecamp, Blix, Blockchain.com, Deezer, Epic Games, the European Publishers Council, Match Group, News Media Europe, Prepear, Protonmail, SkyDemon, Spotify and Tile .

Watch this: Epic v. Apple kicks off in court