WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today the Coalition for App Fairness (CAF) announced Checkatrade – the UK’s number one website directory for finding a quality tradesperson – is joining the coalition to support the fight for a fair, competitive, and open mobile app marketplace. Checkatrade represents 47,000 trade members across the UK – with more than 39,000,000 website visits a year and over 6,000,000 published customer reviews, they make it easy to find a trade or service anywhere in the UK. However, Apple’s anti-competitive practices interfere with Checkatrade’s ability to support their tradespeople with a high-quality, useful mobile application.
“Digital innovation is vital to our business, the thousands of tradespeople it provides work for, and the millions of homeowners whose problems they solve. Big tech app stores’ inconsistent application of anti-competitive rules and charges, and a failure to explain their decisions as to why the exclusions we identified should not apply to Checkatrade led us to joining the Coalition for App Fairness in support of the Digital Markets, Competition and Consumers Bill.” said Mark Bowden, interim CEO, of Checkatrade.
Checkatrade developed a mobile application to help trades run their businesses more efficiently. This app is critical for tradespeople to manage their Checkatrade account, upload photos of their completed work, and track and manage jobs. However, Apple claims that certain functionality within the app – namely the ability to flex membership levels to increase or decrease lead generation – would require the addition of an in-app purchase function, which is subject to a 30 percent charge based on Apple’s restrictive terms and conditions. Apple is leveraging their ironclad grip over the App Store to stifle innovation, and restrict tradespeople from building their businesses in a way that meets consumer demand.
“Checkatrade’s challenges with Apple are not unique – countless developers have struggled to navigate Apple’s arbitrary and discriminatory distinction between apps that sell digital content and those that sell physical goods,” said Rick VanMeter, Executive Director of the Coalition for App Fairness. “We are proud to have Checkatrade join our fight against mobile app monopolists, whose anticompetitive harms consumers, above all else. Together, we will continue to advocate for policies that support a free and fair mobile app ecosystem that protects and empowers consumers.”
About the Coalition for App Fairness
The Coalition for App Fairness is an independent nonprofit organization formed to protect consumer choice, foster competition, and create a level playing field for all app and game developers globally. Originally formed by Basecamp, Blix, Blockchain.com, Deezer, Epic Games, the European Publishers Council, Match Group, News Media Europe, Prepear, Proton, Skydemon, Spotify, and Tile, CAF has rapidly grown from 13 to over 70 members since launching in September 2020. CAF offers membership to companies of any size — join today at appfairness.org.
July 20, 2023