Apple Keeps Rejecting Facebook's Gaming App For iPhones, iPads, Sparking Another Antitrust Row

Apple Inc. AAPL has denied Facebook Inc.'s FB new gaming app entry to its app store for iPhones and iPads, the New York Times reported Thursday.

What Happened

The consumer electronics giant denied Facebook's request for at least the fifth time earlier this month, sources close to the social media company told the Times. Facebook has been making changes to its gaming app and reapplying since its initial app was rejected in February.

The contention is that Apple considers Mark Zuckerberg-led company's gaming app to be a storefront, putting it in direct competition with its own app store.

Facebook Gaming, announced in April, is primarily intended to act as a comprehensive social media for gamers, including letting users stream their games live or watch others, similar to Amazon.com Inc.'s AMZN Twitch.

In addition, the company also lets users play some casual games such as "Words With Friends" and "Thug Life" directly within the app.   

According to the Times, Apple has been citing Section 3.7 of its app store rules, under which apps with the main purpose of distributing casual games are prohibited.

Why It Matters

Apple is facing increased scrutiny over antitrust practices. Just this week, Basecamp Chief Technology Officer David Hansson publicly called out the Cupertino-based company for denying the software company's new email app "Hey" entry to the app store stating that it allegedly collected revenue outside of Apple's system.

The European Commission on Tuesday announced an antitrust investigation into the Tim Cook-led company.

Facebook Gaming has been available on Alphabet Inc.'s GOOGL GOOG Android Play Store since April.

Price Action

Apple shares closed slightly higher at $351.73 on Thursday. Facebook shares closed about 0.2% up at $235.94.

Posted In: gamingiPadiPhoneMark ZuckerbergThe New York TimesNewsTechMedia