Elon Musk lashes out at Apple – claiming the tech giant threatened to ban Twitter from the App Store | Science and technology news


New Twitter owner Elon Musk has attacked Apple, claiming he threatened to ban his social network from the App Store without explanation.

The richest man in the world took the company privately for $44bn (£36.7bn) last month, also said the iPhone maker has “mostly stopped advertising” on its platform.

musk wrote in a tweet, “Hate freedom of speech in America?”

And he also said in a message that was tagged Apple‘s CEO Tim Cook: “What’s going on here?”

Apple was Twitter’s largest advertiser in the first quarter of this year, spending $48 million (£40 million) on ads on the social network.

This accounted for 4% of the company’s sales during that period, the Washington Post reported, citing an internal Twitter document.

The world’s most valuable company spent an estimated $131,600 (£110,000) on Twitter ads between November 10 and November 16 – up from $220,800 (£184,000) between October 16 and October 22, the week before Musk struck the Twitter deal, according to ad analytics firm Pathmatics.

If the company blocked Twitter from its app store, new users would not be able to download the Twitter app on their iPhones and iPads, and existing users would not be able to access updates.

Among the list of complaints Musk tweeted was the 30% fee Apple charges software developers for in-app purchases, with Musk posting a meme suggesting he was ready to “go to war” with the tech giant ‘ instead of paying the commission.

Apple didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment after Musk’s outspoken comments.

The commission fee could hamper its attempts to boost subscription revenue at Twitter, in part to offset advertiser exodus over content moderation concerns.

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Musk said earlier this month his company experienced a “massive” drop in sales.

Companies like food giant General Mills and automaker Audi of America have stopped or paused advertising on Twitter since the acquisition.

Apple CEO Tim Cook

Musk has laid off thousands of employees, with cuts expected to have a significant impact on content moderation.

The billionaire boss of Twitter and Tesla claimed Apple pressured Twitter over calls for moderation.

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The alleged action, which hasn’t been confirmed by Apple, wouldn’t be out of the ordinary given that the company has routinely enforced its rules and previously removed apps like Parler.

Parler, popular with US conservatives, was restored by Apple in 2021 after the app updated its content and moderation practices.

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