Business mogul Barry Diller turned to Apple on Friday about the fees charged by companies with applications in the iPhone manufacturer’s app store.
In an interview on CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” the chairman of IAC and Expedia said his companies and others like them were “grossly overwhelmed”.
For large companies, Apple charges a commission rate of 30% for in-app transactions. For some smaller developers, the company recently lowered it to 15% after criticism.
Apple steadfastly defends its policies, saying that the money it receives from commission fees goes to maintaining and securing the app store, which ultimately benefits app makers.
“The idea that they actually justify it by saying, ‘We’re spending all this money protecting our little app store,'” said Diller. “I mean, it’s criminal. Well, it will be criminal,” he predicted.
Diller’s comments came on Friday the day Apple CEO Tim Cook is set to testify in an antitrust proceeding focused on the Epic Games App Store, which makes the popular video game Fortnite.
Apple has a “quasi-monopoly” with Google from Alphabet, which operates the Google Play App Store for Android devices, said Diller.
Diller aimed at how Apple forces in-app transactions to flow through the App Store’s payment system. Since Apple provides the payment system, the best comparison for Apple is a credit card company, which typically charges around 2% for transactions.
“It’s irrational, 30%. I mean, it doesn’t make any sense,” said Diller.
“Match, little Match.com, pays Apple $ 500 million a year to search their store. Does that seem rational to you?” Diller said, referring to the dating company that Diller’s IAC spun off into a separate entity last year.
Diller said Apple needs to be regulated to keep competition going, but stressed he wasn’t calling for the tech giant to break up.
“I think when you get big enough regulation is good. I grew up in the television business, which was fully regulated by the FCC and has really tough regulations. By the way, everyone has succeeded to say the least,” he told Diller, who former CEO of Fox and Paramount Pictures.
“I think regulation, right regulation, makes sense. I don’t want to destroy it. I don’t think that’s such a smart idea, but when you have size and power you have to have regulation.” he said.
Diller also told CNBC that he feels that Netflix has an insurmountable advantage in streaming video, a business that has seen an explosion of new entrants including Disney +, Apple TV + and NBCUniversals Peacock.
“Netflix won this a few years ago. They are the only ones with the scale and momentum to make these somewhat insane investments in programming,” he said.
Little Island opens in New York City
A look at “Little Island”, a park with numerous cultural offers on an artificial island in the Hudson River, is to be opened in the coming weeks.
Christina Horsten | Image Alliance | Getty Images
Diller’s CNBC interview took place on the newly opened Little Island on the Hudson River on Manhattan’s west side on Friday.
The $ 260 million, 2.4-acre park – a decade in development and temporarily canceled at one point – was largely funded by Diller and his family foundation with his wife, fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg.
Diller has allocated approximately $ 160 million to preserve Little Island for the next 20 years. New York City also contributed public funding for the project. “
The design was a collaboration between MNLA, a New York landscape architecture firm, and Heatherwick Studio, the London-based company founded by Thomas Heatherwick, who was also behind the ship at Hudson Yards in Manhattan. Heatherwick also designed the Olympic cauldron for the 2012 London Games.
When asked how much more Little Island costs than he originally thought, Diller said, “I would be satisfied with double that.”
Disclosure: Comcast owns NBCUniversal, the parent company of CNBC.