Nefarious Apple has been caught red-handed… doing something it has openly admitted to doing.
Noted App Store fanboy Tim Sweeney tweets about this Bloomberg report:
Bloomberg investigated @actonline, the fake “app developer interest group” that Apple funds to lobby politicians while its monopoly strangles developers. Shame on Apple and shame on this deceitful astroturfing.
The Macalope’s not sure how “deceitful” it can be considered when Apple’s logo is literally the first one on the organization’s “About” page under “Sponsors.” But it is certainly gross and ham-fisted, almost to the point of Tim Cook coming out swinging with honey-baked hams strapped to his fists.
But Tim’s not the only one whose hands smell ready for the holidays here.
Let’s also recall that Tim Sweeney is more than a little ham-fisted himself.
“Epic Games founder Tim Sweeney likens fight against Apple to fight for civil rights”
Seems like someone who said something like that should be embarrassed enough to err on the side of not saying more things in the future, but when you’re the face of a noisy lawsuit about wanting to tear down Apple’s monopoly power so you can set up your own monopoly power, it’s hard to sit on the sidelines.
The Bloomberg piece that Sweeney links to provides more color on Apple’s involvement.
The group, known as ACT, says it’s not beholden to Apple, but confirmed that it derives more than half its funding from the company. The former employees say the actual percentage is much higher.
Much higher than “more than half”? Like, a hundredity twenty percent?
Man, that’s a lot of percent, if true.
Rick VanMeter, a former congressional aide who is the head of rival developer group Coalition for App Fairness, said ACT’s purported representation of app developers is deceptive, given its relationship with Apple.
Oh, really! The Coalition for App Fairness said that? Okay.
The Coalition is, of course, the group that Tim Sweeney’s Epic Games help create and is on the board of. Epic also provided funding for the group. Yes, really. This, by way of contrast to what Apple has done, is not in any way “shameful” or “deceitful” because of the things and the stuff and such and, oh, look, over there, the spider that was on the Queen’s coffin is now a playable character in Fortnite for a small fee, isn’t that delightful.
Bloomberg, the outfit that published “The Big Hack” and never retracted any of it even after it was utterly denied by everyone involved and remains uncorroborated, simply notes that Epic Games is “a member of VanMeter’s Coalition for App Fairness” without going into the fact that, according to The Verge, the Coalition “appears to have actually been created and funded by Epic explicitly to help win its case” against Apple. That seems like kind of an important point to leave out when you’re dumping Tim Sweeney’s tweets into your article.
To reiterate, funding a lobbying organization like this that purports to be grassroots is gross and it should be beneath Apple at the very least, as the company that rightly prides itself on its success being based on selling great products that people love.
But as far as taking criticism from Tim Sweeney? Nah.