The news: Elon Musk fired a salvo of Tweets chastising Apple for pulling its ads on Twitter and claiming Apple threatened to “withhold” Twitter from the App Store, setting up a conflict with tech’s biggest superpower, per The New York Times.
Why it’s worth watching: The speculation is that Musk wants to transition Twitter away from its ad-supported revenue model into a subscription-based service. This, however, will result in Apple’s App Store taking up to 30% of subscription revenues on mobile devices and Google Play similarly taking a 15% cut.
Rallying regulators: Musk’s unverified accusations against Apple could provide new evidence that it’s time for Congress to rein Apple in, Republican lawmakers said.
“Apple and Google currently have a stranglehold on companies and have used their leverage to bully businesses,” said Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), who is a co-sponsor of the Open Markets Act.
Apple’s next move: In an interview on CBS Morning two weeks ago, Apple CEO Tim Cook said, “I don’t think anyone wants hate speech on their platform, so I’m counting on them to continue to (moderate abusive content).”
The key takeaway: Musk is going up against a wealthy, powerful company that also has a lot of sway in the tech industry. Apple brought Facebook to its knees with its AppTrackingTransparency feature and could use advertising or an App Store ban to stop Twitter’s momentum.
Twitter has already violated the App Store’s terms of service by allowing spam, disinformation, and banned content, giving Apple reasons to shut them out.
This article originally appeared in Insider Intelligence'sConnectivity & Tech Briefing—a daily recap of top stories reshaping the technology industry. Subscribe to have more hard-hitting takeaways delivered to your inbox daily.
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