Mark Zuckerberg slams Apple’s App Store ‘monopoly’ in leaked comments

Mark Zuckerberg poured gasoline on his simmering feud with Apple on Friday, slamming the company’s “stranglehold” on the iPhone’s App Store, saying it charges “monopoly rents.”

In leaked remarks from Facebook’s weekly employee town hall obtained by BuzzFeed, Zuckerberg railed against the 30-percent cut that Apple takes from in-app iPhone purchases.

“[Apple has] this unique stranglehold as a gatekeeper on what gets on phones,” Zuckerberg said, adding that the App Store “blocks innovation, blocks competition” as well as allows the Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple “to charge monopoly rents.”

Apple maintains strict quality control over the App Store, which is the only way to download software onto iPhones. In his comments, Zuckerberg said that Apple’s rules stifle innovation “that could really improve people’s lives.”

Zuckerberg’s comments arrived just a day after Facebook publicly doubled down on its criticism of the iPhone maker’s steep fees, revealing that Apple had previously rejected its attempt to be transparent about its steep fees.

The social networking giant said that Apple forbade Facebook from warning users of a new online events feature that Apple would take a 30-percent cut of sales, citing App Store rules that bars developers from showing users “irrelevant” information.

“Now more than ever, we should have the option to help people understand where money they intend for small businesses actually goes,” Facebook said in a statement. “Unfortunately Apple rejected our transparency notice around their 30-percent tax but we are still working to make that information available inside the app experience.”

Zuckerberg also addressed Apple’s high-profile legal fight with Epic Games, the maker of mega-popular video game “Fortnite”.

Apple booted “Fortnite” from the App Store after Epic introduced a new payment system which allowed it to circumvent the iPhone maker’s fees, and threatened to disable Epic’s developer accounts, which would have broken the Unreal Engine, a tool that other game developers use to pwoer their three-dimensional graphics.

Zuckerberg called Apple’s planned retaliation — which was stopped by a judge this week — “quite problematic” and “just an extremely aggressive move.”

A representative for Apple did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment.

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