New Twitter owner Elon Musk has hit out at Apple – claiming it has threatened to block his social network from the app store without explanation.
The world’s richest man, who took the company private last month for $44bn (£36.7bn), also said the iPhone maker has “largely stopped advertising” on its platform.
Musk wrote in a tweet: “Do they hate free speech in America?”
And he also said in a message that the brand appleCEO Tim Cook: “What’s going on here?”
Apple was Twitter’s biggest advertiser in the first quarter of this year ̵[ads1]1; spending $48m (£40m) on ads on the social network.
This accounted for 4% of the company’s revenue in that period, the Washington Post reported, citing an internal Twitter document.
The world’s most valuable company spent an estimated $131,600 (£110,000) on Twitter ads between November 10 and 16 – down from $220,800 (£184,000) between October 16 and 22, the week before Musk ended Twitter- the deal, according to ad measurement firm Pathmatic .
If the company were to block Twitter from its app store, new users would not be able to download the Twitter app on iPhone and iPad, and existing users would not be able to access updates.
Among the list of grievances Musk tweeted was the 30% fee Apple charges software developers for in-app purchases, and Musk posted a meme suggesting he was willing to “go to war” with the tech giant rather than pay the commission .
Apple did not immediately respond to requests for comment after Musk’s outspoken comments.
The commission fee could affect his efforts to boost subscription revenue at Twitter, in part to offset the exodus of advertisers due to concerns about content moderation.
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Musk said earlier this month that his company had seen a “massive” decline in revenue.
Companies including food company General Mills and carmaker Audi of America have suspended or suspended advertising on Twitter since the acquisition.
Musk has laid off thousands of workers, with cuts expected to have a significant impact on content moderation.
The billionaire CEO of Twitter and Tesla claimed that Apple pressured Twitter over moderation requirements.
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The alleged action, which has not been confirmed by Apple, would not be unusual as the company has routinely enforced its rules and previously removed apps like Parler.
Popular among American conservatives, Parler was reinstated by Apple in 2021 after the app updated its content and moderation practices.