As UK Regulators Go After Apple, African Union Needs To Wake Up

As UK Regulators Go After Apple, African Union Needs To Wake Up

It is always a mystery – why are European courts penalizing oil companies which are operating in Africa, and making tons of money in the process, when the REAL victims in Africa get nothing? Yes, EU and UK courts have made $billions on fines, penalties, etc, in the last two decades, on cases associated with how major oil  majors have operated in Africa. In all these fines, none of the fines made their ways back to Africa. So, it works like this: do wrong in African oil fields, and prosecutors will go after you, and you settle with the state via a penalty; case closed. The citizens of the oil fields get nothing!

Why am I referring to this? The UK and European regulators have opened their high voltage searchlights on the activities of big technology companies like Facebook, Apple, Amazon, and Google, and are taking tons of money as fines and penalties. India has joined the fray. China would not even allow you in. The latest is that UK regulators are after Apple for its iOS policies; Apple is really mean, I must say, when you see how it guards its in-app payment gateway to ensure it collects those taxes.

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has launched an antitrust inquiry into Apple, due to many complaints coming from developers about the iPhone maker’s App Store.

Apple released the iOS 14 late last year, the newest version of its operating system which came with new policies that have become the center of controversy between the tech giant and developers.

Apple only allows developers to release iPhone and iPad apps through its iOS smartphone platform. Apart from the rigorous process it takes for apps to be approved on iOS, Apple charges 30% on in-app transactions. The CMA said it may amount to unfair practice by the Cupertino firm.

“Millions of us use apps every day to check the weather, play a game or order a takeaway,” Andrea Coscelli, chief executive of the CMA said.

“Complaints that Apple is using its market position to set terms which are unfair or may restrict competition and choice – potentially causing customers to lose out when buying and using apps – warrant careful scrutiny,” he added.

But as these jurisdictions push these entities, from India to the UK, EU to China, and beyond, Africa Union has been frozen. I mean, someone needs to tell AU that Africa has software developers affected by Apple’s policies, and they deserve to be supported and protected. The UK and EU are constantly fighting for their people and companies, African Union needs to do the same.

The digital economy is here and we cannot just give up our rights so that Europe and North America will become the judges, defendants and prosecutors. Someone in Ethiopia needs to push for changes and I am confident that these technology companies will listen because we have the numbers.

The most important thing here is how someone can tell Apple to allow alternative payment systems. If that happens, most of our fintechs will have opportunities. If the UK is fighting for that, AU needs to join that movement. 

UK Regulator Launches Investigation into Apple Store Policies


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One thought on “As UK Regulators Go After Apple, African Union Needs To Wake Up

  1. People all over Africa need to be applauding us, on our battle with Apple, with respect to the Mhagic in-app voting system. For two months, the battle raged!

    First, we invented in-app voting with real money, without needing to use SMS, Apple first got perplexed, then the almighty rules started rolling out, it was a real battle. But when your ingenuity is unbounded, you can still face Silicon Valley’s finest and come out unscathed; that’s Mhagic for you…

    You said we have the numbers? Our problem here is that we do not know how to value what we have here, but we are great at being slaves to the guys from the other side. You will have a fighting chance when you know brands that are yours and then do well to support and protect them.

    How many high profile movie streaming platforms are there across the globe, and how many are of African origin? Then how many movies are produced in Africa and where are they streamed? Your people are cool with taking their movies to YouTube, then making few dollars and celebrating. Is YouTube an African brand? We always lose a war before it begins, only to start whining afterwards.

    Some of us have clear ideas on how to make Africa win, but our people must be willing to do their part.



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