Lately, app stores have functioned more like a contest in Netflix’s “Squid Game” than a fair marketplace. In other words, developers must play by Big Tech’s rules or get “eliminated” from their app stores.
App developers are, in effect, limited to using two companies — Apple and Google — if they want to bring their apps to market. Both companies control nearly 99.64 percent of app stores in the United States. So if Apple and Google deny or remove an app, it spells death for that app company.
Additionally, most developers don’t forge complaints in fear of Google or Apple retaliating against them, either by removing their app or imposing harsher restrictions. As Ida Tin, the CEO of the health app Clue, put it, “You don’t want to annoy the milkman when you only have one milkman.” So as of now, it’s Apple and Google’s game, and there’s nothing developers can realistically do about it without action from Capitol Hill.