Musk says "Epic is right," takes sides in battle with Apple


FILE PHOTO: SpaceX owner and Tesla CEO Elon Musk speaks during a conversation with legendary game designer Todd Howard (not pictured) at the E3 gaming convention in Los Angeles, California, U.S., June 13, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Blake

(Reuters) -Tesla Inc Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk on Friday showed his support for "Fortnite" maker Epic Games that has challenged Apple Inc's fees on its App Store.

"Apple app store fees are a de facto global tax on the Internet. Epic is right," he said in a tweet. (https://bit.ly/3xeuuBS)

Apple is battling a lawsuit filed last year by Epic Games, alleging that the iPhone maker has abused its dominance in the market for mobile apps. Epic broke Apple's rules when it introduced its own in-app payment system in "Fortnite" to circumvent Apple's commissions.

Apple, which has defended its App Store practices both in court and to lawmakers in hearings, did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Musk late on Friday said that though he likes using Apple products, the iPhone maker is "overcharging with App Store".

"I mean 30% fees for doing almost zero incremental work is completely unreasonable. Epic wouldn’t bother processing their own payments if App Store fees were fair," he tweeted.

Separately, Musk denied a report that he once had a chat with Apple boss Tim Cook related to a possible acquisition of the electric carmaker and taking over as the iPhone maker's CEO. https://lat.ms/3yhhKvA

"There was a point where I requested to meet with Cook to talk about Apple buying Tesla. There were no conditions of acquisition proposed whatsoever. He refused to meet," Musk said in another tweet. (https://bit.ly/377Gwm2)

On Tesla's call with Wall Street analysts earlier this week, Musk took shots at Apple, criticizing the company's "walled garden" or its tightly controlled tech ecosystem and its usage of cobalt, a key mineral for making lithium-ion batteries.

"I don’t want to be CEO of anything," Musk tweeted in response to a comment.

(Reporting by Nivedita Balu and Tiyashi Datta in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)

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