Apple and Google App Stores v. Developers


Cell phones are becoming an extension of the human body. Users must download applications through app stores to add functionality to phones. Those applications are created by developers who also need app stores to market and sell their products. Those applications are becoming more and more necessary to function in modern society. With people doing their banking, paying their bills, making appointments, and even paying at the register through mobile phone applications, app stores are starting to look more like a public necessity than a luxury. In an efficient market, app stores would compete for developers to use their platforms. In theory, that would lead to terms the app stores and developers are all happy with. However, due to an effective duopoly over the app store market, the app stores have immense leverage in their dealings with developers. They are not forced to meet the developers halfway in their terms of service. This article explains issues resulting from this bargaining power gap and outlines how different parts of the world are regulating the relationship between app stores and developers. I will describe how the European Union, South Korea, the United States, India, and Japan have attempted to legislate this area. I will compare these evolving strategies and offer my take on the best way to move forward in regulating the space.


Apple, Google, App Store, Developers, Applications, European Union, South Korea, United States, India, Japan, Regulation, Duopoly



Craig Peters (Washington University in St. Louis)



Publication details



All rights reserved

File Checksums (MD5)

  • PDF: bdd3fc4eeb3849243eb3d40ae82683e6