Last year, things got heated up between Apple and Epic Games (developer of Fortnite) when the latter filed a lawsuit against the Cupertino-based company. The lawsuit shed light on how Apple wanted to keep a 30 percent commission on every in-app purchase made through Apple App Store.
A year later, emails connected to the case reveal how Apple almost convinced Netflix to use their in-app purchase on the App Store. Three years ago, Netflix was frustrated with the same issue Epic filed a lawsuit for. But instead of suing Apple, Netflix decided not to let new users sign up using iOS devices. Although the company didn’t explain its decision back then, it was obvious. Netflix did not want Apple to have a hefty 30 percent share on every signup.
When Apple got to know what happened, it approached Netflix behind closed doors and pressured them to reconsider their decision. Carson Oliver, the Apple Director of App Store Business Management, said that,
Apple expressed our concern that running the test would create a bad customer experience for app users in those markets and limit co-marketing opportunities.
This was in response to a trial Netflix ran in order to understand the effects of disabling the signup option in few markets. Some email also reveals that Apple executives held several meetings with Netflix representatives to discuss the test. A bunch of those meetings also talked about coming to a middle ground for the upcoming Apple TV service, but Apple never made progress on the matter.
The Cupertino-based company wanted to convince Netflix to use in-app purchases so badly that they presented several ways on how IAP was benefitting Netflix more than Apple itself. Apple even discussed some ideas, such as marketing Netflix at select Apple Stores and even sending out emails promoting Netflix.
However, everything Apple did not come to fruition, with the tech giant launching Apple TV+, a direct competition to Netflix. It is still unknown what direction the Apple vs Epic Games lawsuit will take, but Apple surely felt some wraith after courts slapped an anti-trust lawsuit on Apple saying they have a monopoly on what apps iOS runs.