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The Wall Street Journal

Sept. 24, 2020, 12:31 p.m. EDT

Tech companies including Spotify and the maker of ‘Fortnite’ seek to reform app stores

By Sarah E. Needleman

Companies including “Fortnite” maker Epic Games Inc., Spotify Technology SA (NYS:SPOT) and Tinder owner Match Group Inc. (NAS:MTCH) have forged an alliance to pressure Apple Inc. (NAS:AAPL) and other app-store operators to make changes to their marketplace rules.

The Coalition for App Fairness, a nonprofit registered in Washington, D.C., made its public debut Thursday, saying most app stores collect excessive commissions from software developers on users’ digital purchases and stifle competition by giving unfair advantages to their own products and services.

The group was registered after Epic sued Apple and Alphabet Inc.’s (NAS:GOOG) Google over the removal of “Fortnite” from their respective app stores. A coalition spokeswoman said the group wasn’t created in response to Epic’s lawsuit but as part of conversations among developers about their app-store experiences and shared desire for change.

As a social-welfare organization, it plans to push for legal and regulatory changes to how companies are allowed to operate app stores, the spokeswoman said. Many social-welfare entities don’t have formally registered lobbyists and are set up to rally support from the public for their cause.

An expanded version of this story appears on WSJ.com

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